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updated: 9/5/2012 7:51 PM

Zion man charged in shooting at Waukegan banquet hall

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  • Willie Bell

    Willie Bell


A Zion man is in Lake County jail after being charged in connection with a shooting outside of a busy banquet hall on Sept. 1, authorities said.

Willie Bell, 21, of the 2600 block of Hampson Way, was arrested minutes after midnight on Saturday after firing into the crowd in the 600 block of Lakehurst Road, Waukegan Police Cmdr. Gabe Guzman said.

Police responded to the Milan Banquet Hall after security requested help dealing with an unruly crowd in the parking lot, Guzman said.

While at the scene, officers heard several shots fired, he said.

Four people were taken into custody, and Bell, a known and documented gang member, gave a voluntary statement implicating himself in the shooting, Guzman said.

During the investigation, officers learned a shooting victim was at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.

Guzman said the victim was shot once in the head while sitting in the back seat of a vehicle that was driving through the banquet hall parking lot.

Officers investigating the shooting found a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and 13 shell casings in the parking lot, he said.

Bell was charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, Guzman said, and is held on $750,000 bail.

"These officers put themselves in harm's way in order to take a violent offender into custody and restore order to a chaotic situation," Chief Daniel Greathouse said.

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