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The woman killed in a shooting in Morris, Illinois on Thursday has been identified and a teenager has been charged with her murder.
The Grundy County Coroner’s Office said Friday morning that Beverly A. Lambert, 25, of Shorewood, died in the incident.
Lambert was taken to Morris Hospital after the shooting, where she was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m., the coroner’s office said.
The autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
Arrested and Charged
Cortez Rice, 16, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the incident, Morris officials said Friday.
Beverly Lambert was picking up her 1-year-old baby from a caregiver at her apartment complex when she was shot twice in the back of the head, authorities said.
She is currently being held at the River Valley Detention Center in Joliet and appeared in court on Friday.
Both the family of the suspect and the victim were in court.
Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland said Lambert was picking up her 1-year-old son, Jace, from a caretaker at the apartment complex when he was shot twice in the back of the head.
“I think the shock value of something happening to a 25-year-old woman in Grundy County has a knock-on effect that not only affects the family of the victim, but the entire community,” Helland said.
The teen then stole her car, Helland said.
“I’ve never heard of a Grundy County felon committing a murder at age 16 in the county’s history. It just doesn’t happen here,” Helland added.
She then fled the scene, prompting a three-hour search by multiple police departments.
Police responded to the 500 block of Twilight Drive and asked people in the area to take shelter while they searched for the shooter around 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
“A police officer waved at us and said, ‘Stay there, he came down and said, ‘We have an active shooter. Stay inside,'” said Mike Ryerson, who lives nearby. “There has been an increase in violent incidents lately which has always been highly unusual for Morris.”
Police were able to track the suspect thanks to license plate scanning technology that was installed at the entrance and exit of the community just a month ago.
Using flock camera technology, officers were able to track down the suspect who left the scene of the shooting at an apartment complex on Twilight Drive around 4:30 p.m. and enter another nearby community.