Woodstock man charged in connection with fatal shooting in parking lot

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WOODSTOCK – A Woodstock man who has been in jail for the past two weeks after a felony drug arrest now faces first-degree murder charges in connection with a deadly shooting in a Woodstock parking lot last month.

Victor Romero-Palos, 36, was charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree murder. He’s accused of the homicide of 41-year-old Cesar Rangel, of Woodstock.

Romero-Palos was arrested June 16, only eight hours after the shooting, by Woodstock police officers as a person of interest. He was charged with delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a park, delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police said he had less than 15 grams of cocaine, according to court records.

McHenry County Judge John Bolger set the man's bond at $2 million in rights court the next day. He also had an Immigration Customs Enforcement hold placed on him, police said.

An additional $5 million was added to his bond after the murder charges were filed Wednesday, bringing the total to $7 million. Romero-Palos’s bond was the highest amount of any inmate at the jail as of Wednesday afternoon.

Romero-Palos is accused of “discharging a firearm multiple times striking Cesar Rangel,” according to court documents.

Police responded to a municipal parking lot near the intersection of East Calhoun and South Jefferson streets after the department received two reports of gunfire about 1:15 a.m. June 16. Rangel, 41, was found at the scene and taken to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock, where he died of blood loss because of the gunshot wound.

Romero-Palos will appear in rights court on the murder charges Thursday, and before Judge James Cowlin on the drug charges Friday.