Meishon Harvey, 21, of Waukegan, (inset) died on May 29, 2023, following a shooting outside the Bowlero on Lakehurst Road in Waukegan, authorities said. | Background Photo: Bowlero / Google Business

The family of a 21-year-old man fatally shot while trying to break up a fight at a Waukegan bowling alley said he was “taken from us too soon” as they struggle with his sudden death.

The Waukegan Police Department responded around 1:09 a.m. May 29 to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan for a report of a person shot who arrived in the emergency room.

Meishon Harvey, 21, of Waukegan, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.

Officers spoke with people at the hospital and learned the shooting occurred in the parking lot of Bowlero, 631 Lakehurst Road in Waukegan.

Waukegan Deputy Police Chief Scott Chastain said officers located and secured the crime scene.

The Waukegan Police Department’s Major Crime Scene Unit responded to process the evidence at the scene.

Witnesses told investigators there was a fight involving two female subjects in the parking lot of the bowling alley.

Josiah Mars, 24, of Zion.

Harvey tried to stop the fight when he and Josiah Mars, 24, of Zion, got into an altercation, Chastain said.

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Derrick Wells, 32, of Zion, gave Mars a handgun and Mars shot Harvey in the chest, Chastain said. Both Mars and Wells fled the scene.

“Our beloved son, nephew, father and friend was tragically taken from us far too soon. Meishon was a bright light in our lives, full of energy, kindness, and promise. His sudden and unexpected death has left us reeling, and we are struggling to come to terms with our loss,” Harvey’s family said in a statement.

“Meishon was loved by so many, and his loss has been felt deeply by our entire community,” the family said.

Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Jeffrey Facklam said Wells is known to carry the gun and has handed it off to people before.

Facklam said Mars then went to a location in Zion where he shot a person related to Harvey.

Zion Police Department Lt. Derek Zaloudek said the shooting happened around 4 a.m. the same morning at the Woodstone Village Apartments in the 1500-1600 blocks of Lorelei Drive.

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Officers on patrol learned the 21-year-old male victim had been shot in the neck.

Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Daly said the victim is the cousin of Harvey.

He was rushed to a local hospital by car by family members, Zaloudek and Daly said. His wound was determined to be non-life-threatening.

The victim told investigators he was waiting for a ride to the hospital, following his cousin’s death, when Mars approached him on foot in the parking lot, pulled a gun and fired it.

Derrick Wells, 32, of Zion.

Both Mars and Wells were later arrested by the Waukegan Police Department.

Chastain said Mars was armed with a semi-automatic handgun when he was arrested that matched the caliber of the weapon used in the murder.

Zaloudek said the same gun was also believed to have also been used in the Zion shooting.

The gun will be sent to the crime lab for further analysis.

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Mars was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the Waukegan shooting.

He was additionally later charged with aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm for the Zion shooting.

Wells is charged in the Waukegan shooting with three counts of murder, aggravated domestic battery and two counts of domestic battery.

Both men appeared in bond court last week and Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered the two held on $5 million bonds.

Mars appeared in court again following his new charges and was ordered held on a combined $6 million bond.

The family of Harvey created a GoFundMe account to raise money for his funeral, which is scheduled for June 17 in Waukegan.

“We are grateful for any support that you can offer as we come together to honor his memory. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, and know that your kindness and generosity will never be forgotten,” the family said.