Five teenagers are being charged with murder after a 14-year-old was fatally shot following an attempted auto theft and high-speed chase from rural Lake County to Chicago Tuesday morning, Aug. 13, according to authorities.
Lake County police were called to a home in the small town of Old Mill Creek, Illinois, Tuesday at around 1:15 a.m. following the shooting, Detective Sgt. Chris Covelli said.
The 75-year-old homeowner told police he opened fire on the group of individuals—adults and juveniles—who were attempting to steal his car, a 2011 Audi.
The homeowner said he was standing on his porch, yelling at them to leave, when two of the suspects “quickly approached him,” and one of the teens was “holding something in his hand,” police said. He discharged his firearm at least three times out of fear for his and his wife’s safety, hitting a 14-year-old boy from Chicago in the head.
A bowie knife was found on the man’s property, police said. The homeowner has a valid FOID card and is cooperating with authorities.
The teens fled the scene in a black Lexus SUV that was stolen in Antioch, some 10 miles southeast of Old Mill Creek over the weekend, police said.
The offenders stopped near Route 132 in Gurnee and dropped off a 14-year-old, who had a gunshot wound to his head, and another man. A Gurnee police officer, who was in the area investigating an unrelated crash, approached the 2015 Lexus, performed first aid on the 14-year-old and called for an ambulance.
The 14-year-old was transported to Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where he pronounced dead. A 17-year-old male was arrested at the scene in Gurnee.
The four remaining people in the Lexus then fled the scene “at high rate of speed,” reaching more than 100 miles per hour on Interstate 94 as they were chased all the way back to Chicago by law enforcement officers from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Gurnee Police Department, and Illinois State Police.
According to police, the Lexus stopped after running out of gas in the West Loop. The four people inside then fled on foot.
Three of them, ages 16, 17, and 18, were found “pretty quickly,” and a Lake County deputy located the fourth suspect, 17, in a dumpster near Soho House Chicago, buried under trash.
The five teens are being charged as adults for first-degree murder. They appeared in court for an initial hearing Tuesday afternoon, where the judge set bail at $1 million each. They will appear in court next on Sept. 5.
The suspect who was identified as Diamond Davis, 18, is being detained at the Lake County jail. The others, ages 16, 17, are being held at the Hulse Juvenile Detention Facility in Vernon Township.
Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg extended condolences to the family of the teen who was killed, “despite the circumstances.”