Police shoot juvenile in Westmont BMW burglary; 3 charged

  • Angel Martin

    Angel Martin

  • Semaje Wheeler

    Semaje Wheeler

  • Brian Garrett

    Brian Garrett

 
 
Updated 1/1/2022 7:08 PM

Westmont police who interrupted a car dealership burglary early Friday shot and injured a juvenile driver in a getaway car after the car was headed straight for one of the officers, authorities said.

The juvenile is in the hospital and expected to survive, police said. The person's age and condition Saturday was not released.

 

Angel Martin, a Dolton 23-year-old left with a graze bullet wound, and two Chicago teens -- Semaje Wheeler, 18, and Brian Garrett, 19 -- face felony charges in connection with the burglary at the BMW dealership on Ogden Avenue.

All three face two counts of armed violence, one count of burglary and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle, police said.

A judge ordered Martin held in DuPage County jail on $1 million bail. He would need to post $100,000 to be released from custody.

DuPage Judge Leah Bendik on Saturday also set bail at $750,000 for Wheeler and Garrett.

At 4:27 a.m. Friday, police were alerted to a report of a burglary at the Laurel BWM dealership.

The two Westmont officers in a marked squad car pulled up in front of the dealership and saw two people, later identified as Martin and the juvenile, leaving the showroom and joining two others waiting in an Acura that had been stolen from Lake County 10 days earlier, police and prosecutors said.

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The juvenile and Martin, armed with a pry bar, had tried to get into the building on the east side but were unsuccessful, according to a news release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's office.

The pair then joined Wheeler and Garrett in the Acura, drove to the west side of the dealership and tried to break into the building with the pry bar, prosecutors said.

Martin eventually grabbed a landscaping rock, threw it through a pane of glass in the garage bay door, and with the juvenile entered the building through the broken window, prosecutors said.

After police arrived, the two suspects got into the Acura to flee, but officers had blocked the driveway with their squad car.

Officers drew their weapons and ordered the suspects to stop and get out of the car, prosecutors said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

At that point the Acura's driver drove directly at one of the officers, police and prosecutors said, and the officer shot at the car, hitting the juvenile driver in the chest and grazing Martin, who was sitting in the front passenger seat.

That officer ran out of the path of the Acura and had to use his free hand to push away from the car to avoid being hit, police and prosecutors said.

As it was leaving the lot, the Acura hit a cement parking barrier, severely damaging the car, before driving east on Ogden Avenue and heading north on Route 83 into Oak Brook before losing control and crashing into a ditch.

All four occupants began to run from the wreck but were soon apprehended by officers from other departments who came to assist.

Officers recovered four guns -- three from inside the car and a fourth near the driver's side door, police said. Three appeared to have switches that could render the guns fully automatic, prosecutors said.

Inside the car, officers also found a 50-round drum magazine that was nearly full, 28 key fobs for various automobiles and two pry bars, prosecutors said.

Per standard protocol, the two officers have been put on paid administrative leave while the police shooting is reviewed by the DuPage County Metropolitan Emergency Response & Investigations Team Public Integrity Task Force and Forensic Investigation Unit.

Martin, Wheeler and Garrett are next due in court for their arraignment Jan. 24. Each faces between 15 to 30 years in prison if convicted of the armed violence charge.

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