A 16-year-old boy has been charged with murder after he “recklessly” shot a rifle, fatally shooting a mother as she read to her baby in her Zion home last month.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Zechariah C. Myles, 16, of the 2800 block of Enoch Avenue in Zion, for first-degree murder, according to Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli.
Melanie Yates, 23, of Zion, died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.
Yates was found shot after the Zion Police Department responded around 9 p.m. October 17 to the 2800 block of Enoch Avenue in Zion for a call of shots fired.
Covelli said police officers arrived and found evidence of several shots that had been fired near the roadway.
Covelli said on Wednesday that Myles exited his home and “began recklessly shooting” a rifle at another person.
Yates was shot by a stray round, Covelli said. The woman was not the intended target.
She was inside of her home when she was struck by the round.
“She was with her baby reading a Bible story to her seven-month-old and praying with her,” Yates’s father Shawn Calderon said in an interview with WGN TV.
Paramedics with the Zion Fire Rescue Department transported Yates to an area hospital with extremely critical injuries, Covelli said.
The woman died around 10 a.m. October 18 at the hospital. A neighbor told WGN News he heard seven or eight gunshots during the shooting.
An arrest warrant was issued on October 21 for Myles, who detectives have been trying to apprehend since, Covelli said, adding “[Myles] is actively working to avoid apprehension.
Myles is being charged as an adult in the case. A judge set the bond on his warrant at $3 million.
Myles is approximately 5-foot-5, 135 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. Anyone who spots Myles is asked to not try and apprehend him and instead call 911.
Those with information about his whereabouts can call Zion police detectives at 847-872-8000 or leave an anonymous tip with Lake County CrimeStoppers by calling 847-662-2222 or visiting online at www.lakecountycrimestoppers.com.
Yates’s brother, Stephan Calderon, said in a social media post that Yates leaves behind her husband, Daniel Yates, and their two young daughters.
“Everybody who knew Lanie knows she loved Jesus Christ with every fiber of her being. There is no doubt whatsoever that she is in heaven at this very moment. But we on earth miss her very dearly,” Calderon said.
“We miss her passionate, powerful prayers. We miss her infectious laugh. We miss her beautiful singing voice lifting songs of worship. We miss her feisty, witty humor. We miss her dedication to being an amazing, godly mom and wife. We miss her. And we wish with every fiber of our being she was here, but we know she’s in a better place,” Calderon added.
Calderon created a GoFundMe account to raise money to help the woman’s husband and the children.
The fundraiser collected over $145,000 from 1,600 donors in about a week, surpassing its initial $20,000 goal.