Waukegan shooting

view as a webpage

Lake County State's Attorneys Office



October 21, 2020

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lee Filas
(847) 377-3141 – office
(847) 707-6479 – cell

Statement from Lake County State's Attorney regarding Waukegan officer involved shooting:

(Lake County, IL) A statement from Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim:

I have been advised that a Waukegan Police Officer was involved in an incident last night that resulted in one person being shot and killed and a second shot and seriously wounded. In that regard, Waukegan Police officials released a statement this afternoon regarding the incident, which I have attached at the end of this release.

It is important for residents and media members alike to understand the process that takes place in these types of cases.

First, the Waukegan Police Department has called in the Illinois State Police to conduct a thorough, independent investigation into the shooting. It's important to note the Illinois State Police will conduct this investigation on their own, and that the Waukegan Police Department will play no role whatsoever in the investigation.  

Once the Illinois State Police completes their investigation, the entire investigation will be turned over to my office for a thorough review. I do not receive any information until the entire investigation is complete, which can take several weeks to finish.

Once I have had the opportunity to review the entire investigation, I will make a determination regarding whether the officers violated any laws. Should it be determined the officers violated a law, they will be criminally charged. If laws were not broken, I will write up a detailed statement that will completely review the facts, show the evidence, explain applicable laws, and give our reasoning for the final decision. At that time, the case entire file will be made available to the public on the state's attorney's website at www.lcsao.org.

Again, it's important to reiterate this process takes time. In addition, there are ethical rules which restrict our ability to release information while the investigation is pending. These rules are in place to ensure a fair and accurate investigation. 

I am certainly aware these situations are potentially volatile and elicit many emotions. I strongly urge and hope for continued calm and patience as the investigation takes place. 

Finally, our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of the person that was killed and our prayers for a speedy recovery go out to the person injured in this unfortunate situation.

The Waukegan Police Department news release is attached below:



                                          NEWS RELEASE


Date:           October 21, 2020

To:               All Media Outlets

From:           Wayne Walles, Waukegan Illinois Chief of Police

Re:               Officer Involved Shooting

          Contact:     Commander Edgar Navarro (847-596-5460) Edgar.Navarro@waukeganil.gov

On October 20, 2020 at approximately 11:55pm a police officer (officer #1) from the Waukegan Police Department’s (WPD) Patrol Division was investigating an occupied vehicle in the area of Liberty Street and Oak Street.  The vehicle was occupied by two people.  While conducting the investigation, the vehicle fled from officer #1. 

Moments later another police officer (officer #2) spotted the vehicle in the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and South Avenue.  While officer #2 was out of his vehicle, and approaching the suspect vehicle, it began to reverse.  Officer #2 fired his semi-automatic pistol, in fear for his safety.

The driver and passenger were both struck by gunfire.  The driver was taken to an area hospital with serious injuries, but expected to recover.  The driver is currently being identified as a female black in her 20s from Waukegan.   

The passenger was taken to an area hospital where he later passed, due to his injuries.  The passenger is currently being identified as a male black in his late teens from Waukegan.  Lake County Illinois Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper has scheduled an autopsy for later today.  Once the autopsy has been completed and proper family notifications have been made, Coroner Dr. Cooper will release the passenger’s identity.

Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles requested that the Illinois State Police (ISP) – Zone 1 Investigations respond to the incident and investigate the shooting.  Once the ISP has completed their investigation, those findings will be presented to the Lake County Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

No firearm was recovered from the fleeing vehicle.  The WPD is a body camera and squad car camera department.

Officer #1 is a male white with 5 years of experience at the WPD.

Officer #2 is a male Hispanic with 5 years of experience at the WPD. 

WPD representatives will be available at the Waukegan Police Department door # 5, starting at 4pm.


Lake County State's Attorney's Office 18 N. County Street Waukegan, IL 60085  Phone: (847) 377-3000