Five teens charged with murder in Lake County shooting

By Gregory Harutunian For Chronicle Media

Diamond Davis, 18, is being charged as an adult —along with four juveniles — with a felony murder. (Photo courtesy of Lake County Sheriff’s Department)

Five teenagers have been charged with felony murder after an alleged attempt to steal a vehicle in rural Lake county, during the early morning hours of Aug. 6, ended with the death by gunshot of a 14-year-old boy.

An 18-year old woman named Diamond Davis, a 16-year-old male, and three 17-year-old males were arraigned in bond court on charges of murder, and the judge setting bail at $1 million each. The felony murder charges resulted from the commission of a forcible felony that culminated with the boy’s death.

All the suspects are from Chicago and had allegedly been involved with auto theft incidents previously.

According to reports, Lake County Sheriff’s Department personnel received a dispatch call at 1:15 a.m. Aug. 6, from a residence in the 17600 block of Old Mill Creek concerning a vehicle theft. The homeowner stated he saw people trying to break into his car, called for them to stop, when he was charged at, one appearing to hold an object. He fired a weapon three times, and the 14-year-old boy was struck in the head.

The homeowner, who has a valid FOID card, called 911 for an ambulance, as the group fled the scene. Law enforcement officers recovered a bowie knife at the scene.

A few minutes later, a black 2015 Lexus SUV entered an area near the intersection of Hunt Club Road and Grand Avenue, where the Gurnee Police Department was involved with a vehicle crash. The vehicle occupants indicated one passenger needed medical assistance. First aid was given and the boy was transported to a nearby hospital, and later pronounced dead.

“We received a call from our dispatch center, and emergency responders transported the individual to Libertyville Advocate General in critical condition,” said Gurnee Fire Chief John Kavanagh. “Our personnel were on-scene for approximately 10 minutes.”

One 17-year-old male was arrested at the scene, and the four other individuals promptly fled the scene in the Lexus with police giving chase.

“Our public safety personnel were on-scene for the duration of the incident, and provided assistance,” said Shawn Gaylor, Crime Prevention Officer with the Gurnee Police Department. “It originated in a county location, and the appropriate law enforcement agency is handling the investigation. Beyond that, we have no other information.”

The pursuit eventually used the combined resources of the Illinois State Police and the Chicago Police Department, with speeds reaching more than 100 mph over a 45-mile distance. At the intersection of Randolph Avenue and Halsted Street, the Lexus apparently ran out of gas, initiating a foot chase. The four individuals were apprehended at approximately 2:04 a.m., one individual was tracked by a police dog to a dumpster.

The county sheriff’s office held a press conference on the afternoon of Aug. 13.

Further information revealed that the black SUV, used in the fleeing attempt, had been reported stolen from an Old Mill Creek residence, several days earlier No information has been released regarding the individuals’ selection of canvassing and targeting the rural Lake County area.

The 18-year-old female, Diamond Davis, is being held at the Lake County jail, while the four juvenile males are sequestered at the Hulse Juvenile Detention Facility in Vernon Township. All have been charged as adults, due to the nature of the crime.

Sgt. Chris Covelli, public information officer for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, county sheriff’s department had said the 14-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a later statement, Sheriff John Idleburg said, “I briefly want to touch on the law-enforcement collaboration that led to the fast apprehension of everyone involved in this incident.  This case is an example of multicounty law-enforcement collaboration, which assisted in the apprehension of four juveniles, and one adult. I wish to thank the Gurnee Police Department, Illinois State Police, Chicago Police Department, and the Lake County Major Crime Task Force for their technical assistance provided at the scene.

“Anytime there is a loss of life, it is a tragedy for the family and friends of the deceased.  Our condolences go out to the family of the young man who lost his life today, despite the circumstances,” he said.

The suspects next appear in court Sept. 5 for pre-trial hearings.