A getaway driver has been arrested after three gunmen opened fire on a Waukegan home, shooting a woman inside, and prosecutors say he admitted his involvement while sharing a news article of the shooting.
The Waukegan Fire Department and Waukegan Police Department responded around 3:38 a.m. on November 25 to the 1300 block of Hickory Street in Waukegan for a report of a shooting.
A 911 caller reported hearing multiple gunshots and a woman had been struck by gunfire.
A police report said officers arrived and found the female victim had a gunshot wound to her leg.
The officers applied a tourniquet before Waukegan Fire Department paramedics arrived.
Multiple shell casings were recovered from outside the home, which had been struck by several bullets, the report said.
The victim was transported by ambulance to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with injuries considered not to be life-threatening.
Investigators learned a pickup truck with the suspects circled the area prior to the shooting, the report said.
Three suspects fired shots at the residence from the north side of Grove Avenue east of Hickory Street before fleeing.
One of the suspects was identified as Josue Castellanos, 18, of Waukegan. He has been charged with one count of aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, a Class X felony.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Daly said Castellanos worked with a group of suspects who shot the victim.
Castellanos admitted he was the driver of the suspect vehicle. He told investigators that the suspects were armed with guns and wearing ski masks, Daly said.
Surveillance video captured Castellanos’ vehicle entering an alley near the victim’s home.
Three suspects brandishing guns were seen exiting the alley and shooting into the victim’s home before fleeing, Daly said.
There were eight people sleeping inside the residence at the time. 14 spent shell casings were recovered.
The female victim woke up after being shot multiple times in her thighs, Daly said.
A search of Castellanos’ vehicle revealed a matching spent shell casing as some of the ones recovered at the scene.
Daly said investigators searched Castellanos’ phone and found a conversation between him and his girlfriend.
Castellanos sent his girlfriend a screenshot of an article published by Lake and McHenry County Scanner reporting on the shooting after it occurred, Daly said.
Along with the screenshot, Castellanos told his girlfriend “My truck is cooked” and “That was my first and last time,” according to Daly.
A warrant was issued for Castellanos on November 30 and he was taken into custody earlier this month.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office filed a petition to detain Castellanos, calling him a real and present threat to the safety of the community.
Attorney Gregory Nikitas said during a detention hearing that his client was not one of the gunmen who fired the shots and was cooperative with law enforcement about his involvement. The attorney asked for his client’s release.
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak granted the petition to detain and remanded Castellanos to the Lake County Jail.
The judge said that while Castellanos does not have a criminal history, the man went from “0 to 60 in five seconds” and there were no conditions of release that could ensure the community’s safety.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.