16-year-old arrested for fatally shooting Zion mother who was reading Bible to daughter

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested for allegedly fatally shooting a mother who was reading the Bible to her daughter in her Zion home last month.

Zachariah Myles of Zion was arrested on Tuesday and is being charged as an adult for the shooting death of 23-year-old Melanie Yates.

On Oct. 17 at about 9 p.m., police were dispatched to to a residence in the 2800 block of Enoch Avenue for a report of shots fired.

Yates was in her home that night reading the Bible to her youngest daughter when a stray bullet traveled into the house.

The married 23-year-old mom of two died at the hospital the next day from her injuries.

Yates wasn’t the intended target, police said.

Melanie Yates - Zechariah Myles

According to police, Myles allegedly exited his home and began recklessly shooting a rifle at another individual. Yates was struck by a stray round.


On Oct. 21, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Myles for first-degree murder.

At about 4:05 p.m. Tuesday, Waukegan police were responding to a report of shots fired near Jackson and Belvedere.

When officers arrived, Myles and two other juveniles fled the scene, but were quickly apprehended, police said.

Three handguns were recovered. 

Myles was turned over to the Juvenile Detention Center in Vernon Hills on account of his warrant and additional weapons charges.