Investigation into fatal Zion shooting continues

Authorities said they are reviewing autopsy results, and other evidence is being examined as part of the investigation into the April 4 police-involved fatal shooting of a 17-year-old Waukegan resident.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko said the Chicago Civil Rights Division of the FBI has been updated on progress of the investigation into the death of Justus Howell.

Filenko said authorities received autopsy results Tuesday from the Lake County Coroner's Office. He said evidence submitted to the Northern Illinois Crime Lab is being processed, and video obtained from several sources has been sent to an independent analyst.

"We share everyone's concerns and understand that people become impatient," he said. "However, we will never sacrifice accuracy for speed and will complete this investigation without comprising the truth."

Howell was fatally wounded by a Zion police officer who has been identified only as a nine-year veteran of the force. The teen was shot twice in the back, according to Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd.

Police have said Howell was involved in a scuffle while trying to steal a handgun during a street sale. Authorities said Tramond Peet, 18, of Lindenhurst, intended to sell a gun to Howell near Gilead Avenue in Zion, but a fight between Howell and Peet broke out during the exchange and a shot was fired.

A neighbor who heard the gunshot and witnessed the fighting called police, authorities said. When officers arrived, Howell ran and was shot sometime later.

Peet was charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and is due back in court June 22 for arraignment, court records show.

Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim asked the FBI to oversee the investigation, saying his department is focused on ensuring a "complete, detailed and fully transparent" investigation.

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