Police say a 16-year-old boy confessed to killing his father a short time after the shotgun slaying last week in their Algonquin home.
David W. Szalonek made the admission at a residence about 1.5 miles away from the scene of shooting, telling a teenage girl there "he had killed his father," according to recently filed court documents. Police arrived moments later and took the unarmed boy into custody.
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Szalonek, of the 1400 block of Westbourne Parkway, is charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the Feb. 8 shooting death of his father, Brian Szalonek. He remained in juvenile custody Wednesday on $2.5 million bond and is due back in Kane County court Thursday morning.
Details of his confession were contained in an affidavit police filed to obtain search warrants carried out last week on Szalonek and at his home. Police said they recovered evidence including nine shotguns and rifles, a discharged cartridge, several boxes of ammunition, and clothes.
Algonquin Deputy Police Chief Ed Urban said it appeared the victim was home alone with his son when he was killed by a single shotgun blast to the head about 7:45 p.m. A brother of Szalonek later discovered the body in his father's bedroom. Authorities say it's unclear how Szalonek got to the second location.
"We just know he went there," Urban said. "It wouldn't make a difference if he flew."
Police have declined to address a possible motive, other than to say an argument preceded the shooting.
But items recovered at the family home, including a book called "How TV Violence Controls Kids' Minds" and clipped articles about TV contributing to aggression in youths, suggest someone had been reading up on teen violence. And court records also paint a picture of a troubled family that teetered on splitting apart.
Szalonek's parents were married in DuPage County in 1981. Seven years later, his mother filed for divorce, accusing his father of "extreme and repeated acts of mental and physical cruelty," according to court filings.
Although the divorce proceedings eventually ended in reconciliation, circumstances of the relationship again went before judges in 1997 and 2004, when Szalonek's mother sought orders of protection against her husband, claiming he physically abused her and refused to pay for groceries and other family necessities.
Both protective orders were granted, then quickly dismissed by Szalonek's mother, records show.
Szalonek's father was never charged for any of the violence his wife claimed, including incidents in which she said he threw a heavy box of books at her and punched her in the head.
Police also responded last year to two complaints regarding the family dog, Urban said, but no charges were filed in those matters either.
Daily Herald staff writers Christy Gutowski and Jameel Naqvi contributed to this story.