Zechariah Myles, 16, (pictured) was arrested on suspicion of first-degree-murder over the shooting of Melanie Yates, 23, in Chicago
A 16-year-old boy has been tracked down and arrested a month after he allegedly fired the stray bullet that killed an Illinois mother while she was in her home reading the Bible to her baby daughter.
Zechariah Myles, 16, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree-murder after he ‘recklessly’ fired his rifle towards someone, police said in a statement.
Melanie Yates, 23, was killed when she was struck in the head by a bullet that flew into her house around 9pm on October 16 while she was reading to her seven-month-old kid.
Myles was arrested around 4pm on Tuesday after police, responding to a separate shooting incident in Waukegan, found him and two other teens with handguns between Jackson and Belvedere.
Police issued an arrest warrant for the teen last week after saying they believed he was ‘actively working to avoid apprehension’. He has been charged as an adult.
Yates, a young mother-of-two, was killed in the 2800 block of Enoch Avenue in Zion, Illinois, which is located about 50 miles northeast of Chicago.
Melanie Yates, 23, (pictured with husband Daniel and their two daughters) was killed when she was struck in the head by a stray bullet that flew into her house around 9pm on October 16
Yates and her husband, Daniel, were separately getting their daughters ready for bed when a loud bang went off near their home.
He called out to her Yates, asking her whether she heard what to him sounded like loud fireworks, but she did not respond. He went looking for her and found her shot in the head.
Paramedics were called to the scene and took Yates to the hospital. Meanwhile, her husband took their two children to Yates’ parents and explained what had happened.
Mother Lam Calderon said hearing the news ‘we didn’t believe him. It was just unfathomable’.
Yates’ husband, Daniel, found her shot in the head in their youngest daughter’s room after hearing what he mistook for loud fireworks
Yates was a registered nurse before becoming a stay-at-home mom and aspired to have three to five more children
Yates was pronounced dead of her injuries at Vista East Hospital at 10am on October 18 after being taken off life support.
Police in Zion said they did not believe Yates was the intended target of the shooting.
Nearby residents reported hearing multiple shots being fired in the area, and investigators collected six shell casings near the Yates family’s home.
Shawn Calderon, Yates’ father, said finding the person who fired the shot that killed his daughter will not bring her back, but it will give the family some closure.
Yates’ brother has launched a GoFundMe campaign to provide financial assistance to his brother-in-law, writing in the description: ‘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.
‘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.’
Yates is survived by her parents, three siblings, her husband of five years and their two girls, Lydia and Evelyn. Family said she had set aside her career as a registered nurse in hopes of having three to five more children.
‘The girls aren’t going to know their mom anymore,’ Lam Calderon said of her two granddaughters. ‘They’re just going to have a memory.’
Yates was pronounced dead of her injuries at Vista East Hospital at 10am on October 18 after being taken off life support
Yates, a mom-of-two (pictured left with her eldest daughter and an ultrasound image of her baby), was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. She was taken off life support Monday