Two held on $3 million bond in Round Lake Beach slaying
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The Zion man who was shot and killed in Round Lake Beach early Sunday, was attacked because of the way he was wearing his hat, authorities said Tuesday.
Jose M. Garcia, 18, of Mundelein and Jose Rebollar-Verara, 24, of Round Lake Park, are held in Lake County jail on $3 million bond after being charged with the first-degree murder of Gabriel Gonzales, 19, authorities said.
Authorities described the two attackers as gang members.
Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ken LaRue said in bond court that Gonzales entered the One Stop Food and Liquor store in the 1000 block of Fairfield Road about 12:40 a.m. Sunday wearing a baseball hat that wasn't positioned correctly on his head.
LaRue said Garcia and Rebollar-Verara were at the store, noticed the hat, assumed incorrectly that Gonzales was in a gang, and asked him to wear his hat correctly. However, Gonzales did not adjust the hat and attempted to leave the building, LaRue said.
As he attempted to walk away, the two gang members followed Gonzales into the parking lot where Garcia pulled out a 22-calibur handgun and fired 10 shots, LaRue said. One bullet hit Gonzales in the back and pierced his aorta artery, killing him, LaRue said. The attackers then fled the store.
Round Lake Beach Police officials said Gonzales was rushed to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville where he was pronounced dead an hour later.
The Lake County Major Crimes Task Force was called in to help investigate the shooting, authorities said, and charges were filed against Garcia and Rebollar-Verara late Monday night.
LaRue added the two men confessed to the shooting, but both claimed they did not know Gonzales was not a gang member.
Roughly 50 friends and family members of Gonzales were in court when Lake County Judge Raymond Collins set the bond at $3 million bond for the suspects.
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim, who also attended the hearing, said afterward that "this kind of gang violence is not going to be tolerated."
"This senseless act of violence is a tragic example of the gang issue going on in Lake County," he said.
In addition, Nerheim said he is creating a special Lake County Gang Prosecution Unit in the state's attorney's office that will focus on gang crimes.
"With the help of other similar units in Lake County — specifically the county's (sheriff's office) gang unit — this unit will be staffed to aggressively prosecute all gang cases," he said. "This isn't just a Round Lake issue, or a Waukegan issue. This is a Lake County issue."
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