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Article updated: 5/6/2013 12:15 PM

Bond set at $2 million for Wheeling murder suspect

By Steve Zalusky

A judge set bond at $2 million Sunday for an Arlington Heights teen charged with shooting a Wheeling man to death Wednesday while trying to gun down a rival gang member.

Jesus Sanchez, 18, of the 2000 block of West Nichols Road, was trying to kill a 15-year-old boy who had left his gang to join a rival group when he instead fatally shot 23-year-old bystander Rafael Orozco, a Cook County prosecutor said at a bond hearing.

He now faces life in prison if found guilty of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting outside the Winetree Apartments on the 400 block of Pleasant Run Drive of Wheeling. Sanchez, who's also charged with attempted first-degree murder, must post $200,000 cash as bond to go free pending resolution of his case.

Bond for his co-defendant, Collin Scheffler, 19, of the 0-100 block of Countryside Lane in Prospect Heights, was set at $500,000. Scheffler, also charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, served as Sanchez's driver to and from the scene of the shooting, a prosecutor said Sunday.

Scheffler's parents were in court Sunday for their son's bond hearing. Afterward, his father, Bill Scheffler, said "he wasn't the shooter."

According to Assistant Cook County State's Attorney David Weiner, the shooting stemmed from a dispute between Sanchez and a 15-year-old boy who had left Sanchez's gang.

Earlier Wednesday, Weiner said, Sanchez and other gang members confronted the 15-year-old after he got off a school bus, punching and kicking him until the altercation was broken up. A second confrontation between rival gang members occurred later that day, but the groups separated after someone threatened to call police.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday, Weiner said, Sanchez and two others met up with Scheffler, who drove them to the Winetree Apartments and dropped off Sanchez.

After sneaking up on a group that included his 15-year-old intended target and Orozco, Sanchez opened fire with four to six shots, Weiner said. One of the bullets struck Orozco in the back and exited his chest. He collapsed a short distance away and later was pronounced dead at Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview.

Weiner said Sanchez fled the scene in Scheffler's car and dumped the gun, but returned a short time later to retrieve his own vehicle parked nearby. Rival gang members spotted him and chased him into the arms of police officers responding to the shooting, he said.

Both Sanchez and Scheffler later gave videotaped statements admitting to their roles in Orozco's slaying, Weiner said. Sanchez also tested positive for gunshot residue, he added.

Family members said Orozco was husband and father who worked at a local bakery and was walking his dog in the apartment complex where his family lived Wednesday night when he was shot.

Both Sanchez and Scheffler are scheduled to return to court Tuesday at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows.

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