Joliet man convicted of murder for shooting father who was walking to store with two young sons

March 11

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a Joliet man today was convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a father who was walking with his two young children outside a Joliet store in 2008.

Daniel Huizar, 21, was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm on Friday at the conclusion of a bench trial before Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak. He faces 45 years to life in prison when he is sentenced by the judge on May 19, 2011.

Alfredo Lopez was caught in the middle of a gang fight between the Latin Kings and the Vice Lords. He was shot and killed as he walked with his 11-year-old and 8-year-old sons while approaching the entrance to a store at 358 E. Cass Avenue in Joliet on April 16, 2008.

After the fight concluded, Huizar fired three rounds in the direction of rival gang members outside the Cass Avenue strip mall. One of the bullets struck Mr. Lopez and killed him.

Seven other individuals were charged in connection with the incident. They pleaded guilty to felony charges of aggravated intimidation or intimidation in connection with the gang fight and received sentences of between 10 and 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Several of those individuals testified against Huizar during his trial.

“This conviction combined with the sentences already handed down in this case should serve as a warning to every gang banger in Will County that we will never tolerate such gutless acts of violence,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “If there’s a gang fight and someone dies, we will relentlessly pursue everyone involved. We will hold everyone accountable for their actions.”The state’s attorney thanked his prosecutors, Assistant State’s Attorneys Daniel Walsh, Michael Fitzgerald and James Long for pursuing justice in the courtroom and securing an important conviction. He also credited the Joliet Police Department and Chief Fred Hayes for conducting a thorough and aggressive investigation that enabled his prosecutors to succeed in court.