Man charged in massacre of wife, 3 other relatives

MARQUETTE PARK | No moon, no sun: ‘That meant Allah told him to take his family’

April 16, 2010


The murderous rampage started after James Larry, a converted Muslim, looked to the sky and didn’t see the moon or the sun before dawn Wednesday, a family member says.

“That meant Allah told him to take his family,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be printed.

“That meant Allah told him to take his family,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be printed.

“He went inside and said, ‘It’s time,'” the woman told the Sun-Times.

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James Larry has been charged in the fatal shooting of his pregnant wife, his baby son and two nieces. Two others were injured in the shooting.

“He went inside and said, ‘It’s time,'” the woman told the Sun-Times.

Larry, of Wisconsin, was charged Thursday with murder in the fatal shootings of his wife and three other family members.

He also is charged with attempted murder for allegedly wounding two other relatives, including his mother.

Larry, 32, is accused of killing his pregnant wife, Twanda Thompson, 19; his 7-month-old son Jihad Larry; his pregnant 16-year-old niece Keyshai Fields, and his 3-year-old niece Keleasha Larry.

At least three were shot in the head, according to autopsies.

His mother and a teen nephew also were wounded in the 4:25 a.m. Wednesday rampage on the Southwest Side and remain hospitalized. A 12-year-old niece escaped and called 911, authorities said.

Larry reportedly gave police statements implicating himself, and police said they have “rock solid” witnesses who identified him as the killer.

When he was arrested on the South Side about 1? hours after the shootings, Larry allegedly told police Allah prompted him to shoot his family.

He also allegedly told police, “Too bad I ran out of bullets.”

Larry led police to a vacant lot where they found the suspected murder weapon, a 9mm handgun, a source said.

Police are preparing to test the handgun for fingerprints, Larry’s DNA and for a match between the firearm and the bullets that hit the murder victims, the source said. “The case is rock solid on identification,” the source said. “We decided we could wait on the tests.”

Larry, of Madison, Wis., came to Chicago on Tuesday with family members to visit a sister at a house in the 7200 block of South Mozart in Marquette Park, where the rampage happened, police said.

Shirina Thompson said her sister — Larry’s wife — wanted to be a police officer.

Larry, who worked at an ice cream factory in Madison, went by the Muslim name “Bayah” and wanted his wife to wear Muslim clothing, but she resisted, Shirina Thompson said.

Larry forced anyone coming into his Madison home to kneel on a rug and pray before entering, Shirina Thompson added.

Larry and Twanda Thompson met in June 2008, and it was “love at first sight,” but they reportedly had a rocky relationship.

Larry, who had served terms in state and federal prisons, was jailed earlier this year for hitting his wife in a parking lot in Madison during an argument over whether she should take their baby into a store, court records show.

Still, they got married in March and seemed to get along recently, Shirina Thompson said.

But she said she can’t ever forgive Larry for what he is accused of doing.

“James should be dead,” she said. “He is a danger to society.”,CST-NWS-shooting16.article

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