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3rd person charged with shooting 12-year-old boy on bicycle in Zion

Alexander W. Mendez | Zion police

A third person has been charged with the shooting of a 12-year-old boy last month as he rode a bike in north suburban Zion.

A 17-year-old Zion boy was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with a count of aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with the shooting, Zion police announced.

Police had previously charged Alexander W. Mendez, 33, and another 17-year-old with a count of aggravated battery with a firearm each in connection with the shooting, according police. Mendez and the teen were taken into custody in October.

Police did not release the identities of either of the two 17-year-old boys because they are juveniles.

About 6:30 pm. on Oct. 13, officers responded to multiple gunshots in the 2200 block of Hebron Avenue and found the 12-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, police said.

The boy, a Zion resident, was riding his bicycle when he was shot, police said. He was conscious and talking with officers, who applied pressure to his wound until paramedics arrived.

The boy was taken to Condell Medical Center for treatment and has been released, police said.

One week later, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Mendez, the shooter, police said. He was arrested Oct. 24 at his Waukegan home. The firearm believed to have been used in the shooting was also recovered.

Mendez was taken to the Lake County Jail, where he is being held on a $1 million bond, according to police.

The teenager who was previously arrested was taken to the Hulse Juvenile Detention Center.

The teen arrested Wednesday was the final suspect sought by police in connection with the shooting, police said.

The shooting stemmed from a dispute that appeared to be gang-related between the 12-year-old’s older brother and one of the suspects, police said. The 12-year-old was not associated with a gang.