Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy who was wanted for murder after he “recklessly” shot a rifle, fatally shooting a mother as she read to her baby inside her Zion home last month.
Zechariah C. Myles, 16, of the 2800 block of Enoch Avenue in Zion, was wanted for first-degree murder, the Zion Police Department said.
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.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said police officers arrived and found evidence of several shots that had been fired near the roadway.
Covelli said last week 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 were trying to apprehend for weeks, Covelli said, adding that Myles was actively avoiding apprehension.
On Wednesday, the Zion Police Department announced Myles had been taken into custody.
Officers with the Waukegan Police Department responded to a call of shots fired around 4:05 p.m. Tuesday near Jackson Street and Belvidere Road in Waukegan.
Officers quickly arrested Myles and two other juveniles as they tried fleeing from the scene. Three handguns were recovered, police said.
Myles is being charged as an adult in the murder case. A judge set the bond on his warrant at $3 million.
He is also facing additional charges for the incident in Waukegan. He remains held in the Depke Juvenile Justice Complex in Vernon Hills.
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.