Yet another American has been shot and killed while performing a regular, everyday task.
A man in Antioch, Ill. was fatally shot by his next-door neighbour while doing yardwork with a leaf blower on his own property this month, according to local police.
The Lake County Illinois Sheriff’s Office said William Martys, 59, was killed by his neighbour, Ettore Lacchei, 79, after an argument about Martys’ leaf blower on April 12.
“Lacchei argued with Martys, and during the argument Lacchei shot Martys in the head,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a news release.
The authority claimed Lacchei had “various perceived grievances” with Martys. According to CBS affiliate WBBM, one of these grievances was over the noise created by Martys’ leaf blower.
When police arrived at Martys’ home shortly after 7:30 p.m., they found Martys “unresponsive” on the driveway. Paramedics conducted lifesaving measures on Martys, but he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards in hospital.
Following a two-week investigation, Lacchei was arrested on Tuesday and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. If convicted, he could serve anywhere between 20 years to a life sentence in prison.
After a search warrant was obtained for his residence, the Lake County Attorney’s Office claimed Lacchei had sold his home and had plans to leave the country.
During the search, police also located the firearm they believe was used in the crime near the property line of Lacchei’s home.
Lacchei had apparently pulled a gun on Martys at least once before.
“I am proud of the work of the Sheriff’s Office, our First Assistant Lauren Callinan, and Chief of Criminal Jeff Facklam who worked closely with detectives on this investigation,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a press release.
“When arguments between neighbors and social media disputes turn into deadly attacks, we must not only seek incarceration for the offenders, but also find ways to use our courts, our law enforcement partners, and our community to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people. We will support the victims and seek justice in the court room.”
Lake County Sheriff John D. Idleburg said Martys was “senselessly murdered.”
“I am happy Mr. Martys’ family can begin the closure and healing process,” he said.
As per Martys’ obituary, he was a father of four who “strived to create happy events and opportunities in life.” He enjoyed Kung Fu and spending time with his family, especially his granddaughter, Molly.
“He did not hate many things, but he did hate stupid people who couldn’t open their minds to new thoughts and ideas in life,” the obituary reads.
Lacchei is currently being held without bond in the Lake County Jail. His next court date is scheduled for May 25.
This shooting comes amid several other incidents in the U.S. where someone was shot while performing mundane tasks or over simple mistakes.
Earlier this month, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot twice — once in the head and once in the arm — by an 84-year-old homeowner when he confused the address of where he was to pick up his younger siblings in Kansas City, Mo.
Only two days later, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was shot and killed by a homeowner in upstate New York after she turned her vehicle into the wrong driveway.
Two cheerleaders in Texas were also shot this month after they accidentally opened the door to the wrong vehicle in a grocery store parking lot. One of the girls, high school senior Payton Washington, was critically injured.
Also in April, a six-year-old girl and her father were shot after their basketball rolled into their neighbour’s yard in North Carolina.
The shootings have sparked interest in national conversations about gun control and the viability of self-defence laws in the U.S.