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Update: Suspect Identified & Charged in Aug. 13 Highland Park Homicide

UPDATE: Suspect Identified and Charged

The City of Highland Park shares the following information as issued via press release on 8/14/2023 by the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force:
Following a thorough investigation, it was determined Estiven Sarminento, 16, of the 900 block of Deerfield Road, Highland Park, was the offender in this homicide.  The victim, Omar Diaz, was an acquaintance of Sarminento.  Based on investigative leads, it appears there was an ongoing dispute between Sarminento and Diaz. 

Based on recovered evidence, interviews, and video surveillance, detectives were able to determine Sarminento shot and killed Diaz. 

Sarminento was arrested by Task Force Investigators and Highland Park Detectives.  After reviewing the facts and circumstances of the incident, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved two counts of First Degree Murder. Sarminento is charged as an adult.  He remains held in custody pending an initial court hearing tomorrow.

All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. 

Highland Park Homicide Investigation

On August 13, 2023, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Highland Park Police Officers responded to the 2300 block of Green Bay Road for a report of a person shot.  Highland Park Police and Fire arrived and located the victim, a 16-year-old male of Highwood.  The victim was transported to Highland Park hospital and pronounced deceased at the hospital. 

Highland Park Police established a large perimeter around the scene in an attempt to locate the offender.  Witnesses described the offender as a male, dressed in all black, and on a bicycle.  Initially, it was believed the offender fled from the scene on a bicycle, however, further investigation revealed he likely fled on foot following the shooting.  A police K-9 tracked the offender’s scent, but the scent was lost at a nearby roadway. 

Highland Park Police requested the assistance of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force to assist with the investigation.  Preliminary details indicate the shooting was targeted and not random.   It appears prior to the shooting, the victim was walking on the sidewalk and approached by the offender.  The two engaged in a brief conversation before the offender produced a firearm and shot the victim. 

Law enforcement anticipates reopening the roadway by 5:15 p.m.  There is no known threat to the community.  The investigation remains ongoing by Task Force Investigators and Highland Park Detectives.  Additional information will be released as it becomes available.