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63-year-old woman shot and killed while trying to intervene during altercation in Waukegan

Damar McDonald, 32, of Waukegan (left) and Achley Cruz-Oquendo, 32, of Waukegan (right).

Police are searching for two suspects after a 63-year-old woman was fatally shot while trying to break up an altercation between two men in Waukegan.

The Waukegan Police Department and Waukegan Fire Department responded around 8 p.m. Saturday to the 600 block of McAlister Avenue for a report of a person shot call.

Officers found a 63-year-old North Chicago woman lying in the street with a gunshot wound.

Investigators believe that the woman was attending a party at a residence when a verbal altercation broke out between two men, Waukegan Police Commander Joe Florip said.

The victim attempted to mediate the fight and at least one round was fired, striking the victim.

The woman then ran into the street where she was found by officers, Florip said. She was transported to an area hospital and pronounced dead.

Investigators have obtained an arrest warrant for Damar McDonald, 32, of Waukegan, on charges of first-degree murder.

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Florip said that it is believed that McDonald fired the shot or shots that struck the woman. The warrant carries a $3 million bond.

Investigators have also obtained an arrest warrant for Achley Cruz-Oquendo, 32, of Waukegan, for obstruction of justice.

Florip said that Cruz-Oquendo obstructed the investigation due to “her actions that evening.” The warrant carries a $250,000 bond.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office has scheduled an autopsy for Tuesday. Once the autopsy is completed and family notifications have been made, authorities will release the victim’s identity.

McDonald and Cruz-Oquendo are considered armed and dangerous, Florip said, adding that no additional information relating to the incident will be released at this time.

Anyone with information on either suspect is asked to call the Waukegan Police Department’s Criminal Investigations tip line at 847-360-9001 or 911 if you spot them.


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