2 Racine teens accused of battery, firearm possession, attempted homicide

Adam Herring, Eric Otto

RACINE — A 15-year-old Racine boy and an 18-year-old Racine man are facing multiple charges after being accused of assault, attempted homicide and illegal firearm possession.

Adam Herring, 15, and Eric Otto, 18, are facing the following charges:

  • Misdemeanor battery
  • Possession of a firearm on grounds of a school
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18
  • Attempt first-degree intentional homicide

No mugshot was provided for Herring due to his juvenile status.

According to a criminal complaint, a Racine County investigator heard a call dispatched near 12th and Linden regarding a man with a gun on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The call was upgraded to a shots fired call, and the investigator and another officer decided to respond to the area around 12:50 p.m. As the officer and investigator were preparing to respond, dispatchers told the officers that the suspects were headed down the alley between 12th and Linden towards Memorial Drive. The suspects were described as four males, black, one wearing a turquoise colored shirt under a black hoodie and another wearing black with an orange backpack. The four suspects were detained shortly before the officer and investigator arrived, so the officials instead responded to Racine Park High School to speak with the victims.

Otto was found with an orange backpack described by the victims. The orange backpack appeared as if it had not been outside in the elements, and was dry with no snow on it. The backpack appeared to be discarded and unclaimed. In an attempt to locate an owner, one officer opened it up to look for any identification. A black handgun was found in the front large zip pocket, with the grip pointing up. The handgun was removed to verify it was real, and the gun was placed in a safe position. The handgun had the magazine inserted, but was not fully locked.

Upon arrival at the school, officials met with the assault victim and his father. The victim’s father told police that he was shot at by one of the boys who assaulted his son. The victim told police that he was at the Tyler Domer Center when he was confronted by a 15-year-old boy. The victim said the 15-year-old boy and three of his friends approached him and began to assault him. The victim detailed the assault as being punched and kicked in the face, head and body by all four of the kids involved. He also said that while being assaulted, he was “pistol whipped” in the head.

The complaint says that after the assault, the victim said he called his dad and told him what happened. While he was waiting for his dad to arrive, the 15-year-old and his group of friends walked towards “the trails” (an northwest of the scene) when his dad arrived. Once the victim’s dad arrived, the 15-year-old and his friends walked back towards the victim and his dad and pointed a gun at them. The victim said that his dad began yelling at the 15-year-old and his friends, and they started to walk back towards the school and then went towards the alley. When they were in the alley, the victim said he heard five or six gunshots. He and his dad went into the school and waited for police.

When the victim’s father returned to the office, he provided police with a statement. He provided descriptions of all four suspects, stating that the suspects were black males. He said one suspect was wearing black with black underneath, one was wearing black with orange underneath, one was wearing black with turquoise underneath and one was wearing a black hoodie with an orange backpack. The victim’s father said that when he arrived, he saw the group of kids and as he approached them, he asked why they jumped his son and then said something to the effect of, “If you want to fight someone, you can fight me.” The victim’s father said this fired up a bunch of people, and then the suspects started to walk away.

The victim’s father called the police on his cell phone and was following the suspects so he could see where they were going. As he peeked into the alley, a male wearing turquoise turned towards him from 50 to 60 feet away and fired at him six to seven times. The victim’s father could not provide a description of the gun, saying he ducked when the shots were fired. The only suspect who had been at the Tyler Domer Center matching that description was Herring.

According to the criminal complaint, police interviewed the four suspects, who all admitted to participating in the beating of the victim at the Tyler Domer Center. All four denied having a weapon; however, .22 caliber casings were recovered in the alley where the victim’s father claimed he was shot at. A .32 caliber live round was also found in the alley, and the gun found in Otto’s backpack was a .38 caliber with the serial numbers removed.

An investigator obtained Otto’s phone unlock code, and proceeded to look through his phone. The investigator found a Facebook Messenger conversation from Friday, Feb. 1 where Otto asked an unidentified male for “a box.” The male then said, “Ok. 380. Today or tomorrow. Not sure tho. I may not even come down this weekend. A lot of bs.” Otto then replied,” Yeah, 380 acp and just let me know me and my girl gone pull up on u regardless.” There were then missed chats from Saturday morning, and the male told Otto he is in town. Saturday evening, Otto sent the male another message asking if he could get some “shells today” and then specifies” a cheap box” followed by “I can’t be out here wit a empty gun.” The male replied, “I got u.”

Per the criminal complaint, it appears they may not have met until Monday, when the male tells Otto to come through after school, and he tells Otto, “I’m at the store now. I’ll bring it to u. Just come out when I get there,” followed by Otto saying, “OK” and the male then replying, “Outside.”

Based on the fact the gun located in the backpack was said to be a .380 acp, investigators believe that the gun was provided to Otto by the male on Facebook.

FOX6 reported that Racine Park High School was on lockdown twice on Wednesday, Feb. 6 after reports of gunshots fired in the area.

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