Man charged with fatally shooting friend in birthday accident

Joey Gonzalez | Lake County sheriff's office

A Round Lake man has been charged with accidentally shooting and killing his friend during a birthday celebration late Sunday in the northern suburbs.

Joey Gonzalez, 19, was charged with involuntary manslaughter; aggravated unlawful use of a weapon-possession of a sawed-off shotgun; and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon-no FOID card, all felonies, according to the Lake County sheriff’s office.

Gonzalez, 20-year-old David J. Graham and two other friends were celebrating Graham’s birthday Sunday night, according to the sheriff’s office. Graham was driving a vehicle containing the three friends and pulled over near West Monaville Road and West Old Monaville Road in unincorporated Lake Villa.

Graham and Gonzalez got out of the vehicle and began firing a shotgun into the air, according to the sheriff’s office. They got back into the vehicle and Graham began driving. Gonzalez was sitting in the backseat holding the gun and it went off, striking Graham in the head.

Gonzalez moved Graham out of the driver’s seat and drove to the Northwestern Medicine Grayslake Outpatient Center, where Graham was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, according to the sheriff’s office.

The other two friends were not charged, according to the sheriff’s office.

Gonzalez was also charged with one felony count of residential burglary, according to the sheriff’s office, which said he was responsible for a burglary in the 36000 block of North Tara Court in Ingleside in October 2016.

He was already a person of interest in the burglary before the shooting, but additional facts developed during the death investigation led to the charge.

Gonzalez, of Round Lake, remains at the Lake County Jail on a $300,000 bond, according to the sheriff’s office. He is next scheduled to appear in court Friday.