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79-year-old Illinois man shot and 'senselessly murdered' neighbor over noisy leaf blower, police say

Lake County Sheriff’s Office

A 79-year-old Illinois man shot and killed his next-door neighbor over an argument about a noisy leaf blower, according to police.

William Martys, 59, was using his leaf blower on his property around 7:30 p.m. on April 12 in Antioch, Illinois. Ettore Lacchei allegedly approached Martys while he was doing yard work, and an argument erupted.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office said in a press release, "Lacchei argued with Martys and during the argument Lacchei shot Martys in the head."

Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to an emergency call regarding an unresponsive man on a driveway. When police arrived, paramedics were already at the crime scene and performing lifesaving measures on the wounded man. Martys was rushed to the Advocate Condell Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy and declared that Martys died from the gunshot wound to the head.

Martys was a father of four and a grandfather of one.

Detectives said they located a small-caliber handgun near Lacchei’s property line. Police said the firearm was "likely" used to shoot and kill Martys.

Police executed a search warrant on Lacchei's home on April 25. He was arrested without incident. Lacchei is being held at the Lake County Jail pending an initial court hearing.

Lacchei has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

Police said Laccehi had "various perceived grievances with Martys." Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Chris Covelli told WBBM-TV, "We understand from interviewing witnesses that this neighbor had confrontations with many different neighbors that live up and down that street. This wasn’t the first time that he was seen with a firearm."

Neighbor JR McCarty told WLS-TV that Lacchei pulled a gun on Martys once before the deadly shooting.

"No one deserves anything like that and it’s just kind of crazy to think that someone can just break like that over just a simple argument that can be fixed just talking," McCarty said.

Lake County Sheriff John D. Idleburg said, "Our condolences go out to the family and friends of William Martys, who was senselessly murdered. The members of the sheriff's office are relentless when it comes to seeking justice for victims."

"The members of our Criminal Investigations Division have been working around the clock to bring Mr. Martys’ murderer to justice, and I am happy Mr. Martys’ family can begin the closure and healing process," Idleburg added.

Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said, "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. Once again, easy access to firearms has turned a dispute into a deadly crime. We will support the victims and seek justice in the courtrooms."

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake County Major Crime Task Force are working on the investigation into the shooting.

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