Investigators make arrest in drive-by shooting after lengthy investigation.
On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, the Riverside Police Department arrested two male juveniles in connection with the Friday, December 1st, 2017 drive-by shooting that took place on the 200 block of East Burlington. At 11:30 p.m. on this date, Riverside Police responded to report of shots being fired at several teenagers standing in a driveway. None of the individuals were struck by rounds, however, the building and several parked cars were hit by gunfire.
During the past eleven weeks, Riverside detectives were able to gather physical evidence including video surveillance and witness statements. They also collaborated with other police agencies and worked directly with both Facebook and SnapChat in order to preserve evidence in relation to the drive-by shooting.
It was learned during the investigation that the offenders had set up a drug deal via SnapChat to make the exchange in a rear yard of the 200 block of East Burlington between an apartment complex and the Burlington Northern railroad tracks. The real intent of the individuals buying the cannabis was to make no purchase at all but to come to Riverside and rob the buyers of their cash. The drug deal never happened and words were exchanged between all parties involved. While leaving the scene of the area where the drug transaction was to take place, the offenders circled around the block and headed east on the 200 block of East Burlington towards Delaplaine. They fired six shots out the window of the car towards the individuals standing in the driveway. The vehicle fled east toward Harlem and then northbound on Harlem from East Burlington. Police were able to obtain video surveillance from red light cameras and other video sources.
The real break in this case came when Riverside detectives obtained a search warrant for SnapChat. This information led Riverside Police to both offenders.
Arrested by Riverside Police for felony aggravated discharge of a weapon are a 17‑year-old male juvenile from Roselle and a 15‑year-old male juvenile from Hanover Park. The 15‑year-old male from Hanover Park is the shooter. Both juveniles arrested by Riverside Police at one time attend an alternate school in Addison. This school is designed for high-school age students who have had academic and or behavior problems in the past. Both offenders were in the car at the time of the shooting and both planned the drug “rip off”.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel stated, “I had my detectives working on this case every day in some capacity or another as I knew the importance of solving this crime to our community. I also wanted to mention that there was excellent police work done by the patrol officers who initially responded and were able to collect evidence immediately by canvassing the area which led to statements that assisted us in this apprehension. Detectives also worked countless hours obtaining search warrants for SnapChat and Facebook in addition to collaborating with suburban police departments as well as the Chicago Police Department to identify the suspects. We also had direct assistance from neighbors in the area who were interviewed by detectives and provided key information that led to assisting us in this apprehension and arrest.”
Chief Weitzel went on to say, “This is an isolated incident. The shooting was not random as the offenders targeted the teenagers standing in the driveway because of a failed drug deal. In this case, the teenagers who were selling the cannabis had no idea that the offenders’ actual intent was to rob them at gunpoint. This easily could have been a situation where the teenagers were shot or even killed.”
Video from both Riverside Foods (48 E. Burlington Street Riverside) and red light cameras along the getaway route (Harlem Ave) played a vital role in Riverside Police identifying the suspects and gathering physical evidence.
The public is reminded that a signed complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants
in a criminal case are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.