5 teens in Joliet arrested in connection with shooting

Amarion Newell

Joliet Central High School was placed on a brief lockdown as officers investigated a shooting that occurred in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant about a half-mile away from the school.

Five teens were arrested Thursday afternoon in connected with the incident, but none were accused by police of firing a gun. The teens were arrested on probable cause of obstructing a police officer and then released from custody.

No one appeared to be struck by gunfire, and no injuries were reported, according to a statement from Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English.

The campus at Joliet Central, 201 E. Jefferson St., was placed on a brief lockdown as a precautionary measure, English said.

In a statement, Joliet Township High School District 204 said officials said were directed by the police department about 3:30 p.m. Thursday to place the school on lockdown “due to an incident in the community.” The lockdown was later lifted, and students were released safely from the school.

At 3:30 p.m. Thursday, officers on patrol in the 500 block of East Cass Street saw a large number of juveniles in the parking lot of Taquerias Atotonilco, 500 E. Cass St., English said.

The restaurant is about a half-mile away from Joliet Central.

“As they approached, officers heard one gunshot in the area,” English said.

The group of juveniles then ran in different directions, he said.

Officers saw one person running west on East Cass Street who appeared to have something in his waistband, English said. Officers chased this person along with a group of juveniles to the area near Walgreens in the 300 block of East Cass Street.

Officers eventually lost sight of the person who appeared to have an item concealed in his waistband.

Officers then made contact with Amarion Newell, 18, of Joliet, three 17-year-old juveniles and one 16-year-old juvenile near the Walgreens parking lot, English said.

Newell and the four teens refused to follow officers’ commands and submit to an arrest, English said. They were taken into custody after a brief struggle, he said.

“Officers recovered one spent shell casing from the parking lot of Atotonilco Taquerias,” English said.

English said the incident remains under investigation.