'They took away my rock,' victim's mother says

Reward offered for info in fatal Round Lake Park shooting

  • Lakeisha Victorian speaks about her 20-year-old son, Taiveyon, on Wednesday during a news conference to announce a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and capture of those responsible for his killing Sept. 29 in Round Lake Park.

      Lakeisha Victorian speaks about her 20-year-old son, Taiveyon, on Wednesday during a news conference to announce a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and capture of those responsible for his killing Sept. 29 in Round Lake Park. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

  • Lakeisha Victorian and Arthur J. Gass Sr., pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Waukegan, talk with a reporter Wednesday after announcing a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Sept. 29 slaying of her 20-year-old son, Taiveyon, in Round Lake Park.

      Lakeisha Victorian and Arthur J. Gass Sr., pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Waukegan, talk with a reporter Wednesday after announcing a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Sept. 29 slaying of her 20-year-old son, Taiveyon, in Round Lake Park. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

  • Taiveyon Victorian, 20, of Zion was shot to death Sept. 29 during a party at this home on the 500 block of Fairlawn Drive in Round Lake Park.

    Taiveyon Victorian, 20, of Zion was shot to death Sept. 29 during a party at this home on the 500 block of Fairlawn Drive in Round Lake Park. Courtesy of Round Lake Park police

 
 
Updated 10/9/2019 7:41 PM

A $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed 20-year-old Taiveyon Victorian at a retirement/going away party Sept. 29 in Round Lake Park.

The award was announced Wednesday by the Rev. Arthur J. Gass Sr. at a news conference on Lincoln Plaza outside the Lake County courthouse in downtown Waukegan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Gass, pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Waukegan, baptized the 20-year-old shooting victim from Zion and knew him all his life.

"We came today to say, 'This won't go unsolved,'" Gass told about 40 onlookers, including Victorian's mother, Lakeisha, and siblings. "These are homegrown terrorists that somebody knows."

Police have hit a wall with potential witnesses. Anyone with information is asked to call (847) 546-7275 or Lake County Crime Stoppers at (847) 662-2222.

Gass decried the "heartless killers" and "code of silence" that keeps the shooter or shooters on the loose and turned the Victorian family's world upside down.

"This mother is hurting today," he said. "Turn yourselves in so this family can have peace."

Lakeisha Victorian said she was 16 when she had Taiveyon, and he grew to become not only her son, but also a friend.

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"They took away my rock, my joy, my son," she said. "My heart doesn't beat the same any longer. Taiveyon was my baby, and no one had the right to do what they did to him. No one."

She said her son equally loved family and sports and was "just a great kid all the way around."

He played football all four years at Zion-Benton Township High School. After graduating in 2017, he played for a time at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minnesota, before telling his mother he wanted to come home.

"I'm going to help take car of my family, Ma," she quoted him as saying. He worked at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Taiveyon was killed early Sunday, Sept. 29, during a house party on the 500 block of Fairlawn Drive. The home's resident had asked for permission for after-hour parking for 35 to 40 vehicles, but word of the gathering spread quickly and uninvited people arrived.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The party went from a limited number of people to, within an hour, 150 to 200 people began arriving," Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said.

At least one would-be partygoer who had been turned away came back and began spraying gunfire outside and in the kitchen of the home, authorities said.

Three other men injured, two seriously, by gunshots to the torso, neck and thigh area, respectively, Filenko said.

"They're not cooperating," he said of the injured men.

Shell casings were found in both locations and evidence of bullet holes was seen in windows and doors, Filenko said, but there is no estimate of how many shots were fired.

Filenko said the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force has been working diligently, but there are no real updates. The latest theory is that more than one shooter may have been involved.

"No one here who spoke about this young man was exaggerating," Filenko said. "What a senseless waste of life."

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