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Third suspect in Zion shooting of 12-year-old arrested

Alexander W. Mendez, 33, of Waukegan
Alexander W. Mendez, 33, of Waukegan

The Zion Police Department announced on Thursday that a third suspect involved in the shooting of a 12-year-old child has been arrested and charged.

A 33-year-old Waukegan man, and two 17-year-old male juveniles have all been arrested and charged in connection with the shooting that left a 12-year old child riding on a bicycle injured on October 13.

The Zion Police Department said in a statement that police officers responded to multiple reports of gunshots fired in the 2200 block of Hebron Avenue at 6:30 p.m. on October 13. Police officers arrived and found a 12-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Authorities said that the child was conscious and talking with police officers.

“Officers applied pressure to his wound until the Zion Fire Rescue Department arrived,” the Zion Police Department said in a statement. The victim was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

According to the Zion Police Department, the 12-year-old, who is a resident of Zion, was riding his bicycle when he was shot. Police said that the shooting was not random or accidental and that the boy was targeted, in what authorities called a “horrendous crime”.

“There is not believed to be any threat to the general public as preliminary information indicates this was not random or accidental,” the Zion Police Department said.

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On October 20, the Zion Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Alexander W. Mendez, 33, of Waukegan for one count of aggravated battery with a firearm. Police said Mendez was the one who fired the gun during the shooting.

Members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Warrants Team and U.S. Marshals worked with Zion police officers and Waukegan police officers to help locate Mendez. Authorities developed information that Mendez was at his residence in the 1700 block of Golf Road in Waukegan.

On October 24, the Lake County Sheriff’s Warrants Team and Lake County Sheriff’s detectives took Mendez into custody without incident. They also recovered a firearm believed to have been used in the shooting. Mendez is being held at the Lake County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Police also said that two 17-year-old male juveniles were also arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with the shooting. The juveniles were taken to the Hulse Juvenile Detention Center in Vernon Hills. No additional suspects are being sought.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Zion Police Department at 847-746-4110.


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