Coroner: Man killed by Zion police was shot three times in back

ZION (STMW) - A 38-year-old north suburban man who was shot and killed by police Wednesday morning near a school in Zion was struck three times in the upper back, according to the coroner.

Zion police responded to a 911 call about a suspicious person taking photographs outside Lakeview Elementary School at 22nd Street and Bethesda Boulevard about 8 a.m., according to a statement from the Lake County Major Crime Task Force.

An officer began chasing the man, who appeared to be wearing body armor, police said. A struggle ensued between the suspect and two officers, and the suspect was shot.

Charles J. Hollstein, 38, of the 2900 block of Willow Lane in Zion, was taken to Vista East Hospital in Waukegan where he was pronounced dead, according to police.

An autopsy Thursday found Hollstein died of three gunshot wounds to the left upper back, shots which struck his ribs, thoracic spine and upper lobes of both lungs, according to the Lake County coroner’s office.

Lake County Sheriff’s Det. Christopher Covelli said the man was wearing a “homemade tactical vest” with metal reinforcements. He was carrying what “appeared to be a handgun” but was “probably an Airsoft gun.

The community is safe and there are no other suspects at-large, Zion Police Chief Steve Dumyahn said.

The last police-involved shooting in Zion was April 4, 2015, when 17-year-old Justus Howell of Waukegan was shot twice in the back while fleeing officers about 2 p.m.

The shooting sparked marches and protests in the community after Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd ruled the death a homicide. However, in May of that year, Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim ruled the shooting justified.

Zion police requested the Lake County Major Crime Task Force investigate the latest shooting.

Six elementary schools and a middle school in Zion were on lockdown after the shooting, as were all schools in Beach Park School District 3.

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