A Gurnee man was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison for fatally shooting a 23-year-old man who was traveling in a car near the College of Lake County in Grayslake.
Andrew Alexander, 18, of Gurnee, was charged in July in the murder of Isidro Juarez, 23, of Waukegan.
Alexander was charged with three counts of second-degree murder, four counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm and two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
He was initially charged as a juvenile because he was arrested at age 17 in May. His case was transferred this week to adult court.
The charges against Alexander stem from an incident that occurred around 10:30 a.m. on September 17, 2022.
The Grayslake Police Department responded to Northwestern Medicine Center Grayslake, 1475 East Belvidere Road, for a call of a gunshot victim.
Officers learned the victim was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital, Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesman Christopher Covelli said at the time.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Juarez and said he died as a result of a single gunshot wound.
An investigation showed Juarez was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling on Washington Street near Lancer Lane in Grayslake.
An occupant of another vehicle, a Ford Focus, which was traveling in the same area, began shooting at the victim’s vehicle, Covelli said.
Juarez was struck by gunfire and the driver immediately rushed Juarez to the hospital where he died.
Court documents said Alexander shot Juarez under the belief that his actions would be justified, “but his belief was unreasonable.”
Detectives broke the case and determined Alexander was the gunman following a lengthy and detailed canvas of the Ford Focus owners, prosecutors said.
A Lake and McHenry County Scanner photographer reported seeing multiple shell casings on the south side of Washington Street just east of Lancer Lane, which is near the entrance to the College of Lake County.
The Grayslake Police Department requested the assistance of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force with the investigation.
Officers shut down traffic on Washington Street between Atkinson Road and Route 45 for several hours.
Police placed crime scene tape around the scene as they investigated throughout the day.
Court records show Alexander entered into a negotiated plea deal and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, a Class 1 felony.
Grayslake Deputy Police Chief Jeff Myhra said his department’s detectives attended a sentencing hearing on Wednesday.
Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections pursuant to his plea agreement.
“We would like to thank the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office for working alongside Grayslake Detectives to bring this case to a successful conclusion,” Myhra said.
Alexander will receive 250 days of credit for time already served in custody awaiting his case.
During the court hearing, a victim impact statement written by Juarez’s mother was read.
The statement described how the mother’s grief looked different every day and she is pained every day because she will never be able to hear her son’s voice again.
“I would like to commend the Grayslake Police Department and the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force for their hard work on this extensive investigation and bringing this offender to justice,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said after the sentencing.
“Thank you to our team of prosecutors and victim specialists who have been working on this difficult case. Our hearts break for the family and friends of the victim and we will continue to offer support to them,” Rinehart added.