HAMMOND | Two men were arrested and charged with multiple offenses in connection with a retaliatory armed robbery and shooting Saturday in Hammond.
Matthew David Taylor, 18, and Victor M. Jeronimo, 19 — both of Hammond —each were charged Monday with robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, burglary resulting in bodily injury, two counts of criminal confinement, battery by means of a deadly weapon, battery resulting in serious bodily injury and residential entry.
Taylor, Jeronimo and 16-year-old shooting victim all told officers the crimes were committed as revenge for the teen robbing Taylor at gunpoint of $200 and marijuana in September, police said.
Lake County court records show officers were called Saturday afternoon to the 1600 block of 170th Place for a report of shots fired. When police arrived, they found the victim in the front yard of his home covered in blood with a gunshot wound to his left leg.
Police said they quickly found Jeronimo, who had blood on his hands and face, hiding nearby and took him into custody. Taylor was arrested Monday, police said.
The victim was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn for treatment of his gunshot wound.
The teen said he was outside smoking a cigarette when he saw two people dressed in black who put a gun to his head and told him to take them into his home or they would shoot him.
The victim said both of the men were armed with .38-caliber revolvers. He said he started fighting with the men, who began punching him and threatening to "blow his brains out if he ever touched them again," court documents said.
The men allegedly took the teen to the basement, where they went through the refrigerator and took bottles of alcohol and the victim's father's tablet.
The men allegedly continued to hit the victim before he tried to run up the stairs. The victim told police he heard a loud pop when he got to the top step and found he was shot in the leg.
As he was lying on the floor bleeding, the men allegedly taunted him and one struck him in the head with an alcohol bottle. The men then heard sirens and ran from the home.
The victim positively identified Jeronimo and Taylor in photographs and said he recognized Taylor as a man he had previously robbed at gunpoint of money and marijuana.
The teen's parents said he had been receiving threats because he took some marijuana from Taylor in September. The parents said they met with two men — one of whom was named "Big Matt" — in October and gave them $200 in exchange for leaving their son alone.
The parents positively identified Taylor as the "Big Matt" they met with in October.
An initial court appearance is pending.