Another Suspect Arrested in Joliet Toddler Shooting Case

Leonardo Ornelas, an alleged gangbanger, turned himself in to face the consequences of a drive-by shooting that injured a two-year-old on Tuesday (April 24) night. Ornelas is now the fourth suspect charged in connection with the incident.

The Drive-By

At approximately 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, a dark-colored SUV drove by a home in the 400 block of Landau Street twice. On the third occasion, they opened fire on the house, hitting a two-year-old boy in the leg.

According to the boy’s father, Roberto Ortiz, he had been having issues with local gang members over the past month, and this drive-by attack wasn’t the first time a shot had been taken at him.

Police later determined that the occupants of the home returned fire at the SUV.

The First Suspects

Police quickly arrested the house’s occupants: 21-year-old Roberto I. Ortiz, 27-year-old Michael A. Ortiz, and 21-year-old Vanessa Casillas. Casillas has been identified as the injured boy’s mother.

Roberto Ortiz has been charged with unlawful possession of a gun, having a gun without a proper Firearms Owners ID card, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a person, and another charge related to aggravated discharge.

Roberto Ortiz

Roberto Ortiz; Photo: Joliet Police Department

This arrest isn’t the first time Roberto Ortiz has been in trouble with the law, as records indicate he was arrested as recently as December 21, 2017. That particular arrest saw Ortiz facing three charges related to domestic battery. He was being held on a $30,000 bond.

Michael Ortiz has been charged with obstruction of justice and destroying evidence, as has Casillas.

Michael Ortiz

Michael Ortiz; Photo: Joliet Police Department

His social media accounts are fairly bare with little made public, but an image can be found of Micheal Ortiz throwing what appears to be a gang sign.

Vanessa Casillas also faces a charge related to the purchase of a gun and intent. Her bond is listed at $5,000.

Vanessa Casillas

Vanessa Casillas; Photo: Joliet Police Department

Personal details are scarce on the suspects. But according to their social media pages, all three attended Joliette Central High School. Michael Ortiz and Vanessa Casillas are also listed as friends. As of this writing, Roberto Ortiz and Vanessa Casillas’ son was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, but possibly severe damage to his leg.

Fourth Suspect Surrenders

Police began searching for the SUV and its shooters, one of whom is believed to be 21-year-old Leonardo Ornelas. Ornelas turned himself in and was booked into Will County Jail just before 1:00 a.m. on April 26.

Leonardo Ornelas

Leonardo Ornelas; Photo: Joliet Police Department

Ornelas currently faces charges of attempted murder, in addition to a number of charges related to opening fire on the home. He has had run-ins with the law before, the most recent being a domestic battery charge in May 2017.

Ornelas is currently being held on $750,000 bond. According to his Facebook profile, he also attended Joliette Central High School along with the other suspects.

Search for a Fifth Suspect

Police are still searching for 18-year-old Julian Guerra, who is said to be the other SUV shooter. If you have any information on his whereabouts, you are asked to call detective Shawn Filipiak at (815) 724-3023 or to call Crime Stoppers of Will County at (800) 323-6734.


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