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Arrest made in connection with a shootout outside Merichka’s in Crest Hill – Shaw Local

Georgia authorities are holding a suspect in the April 2 shooting outside Merichka’s Restaurant in Crest Hill.

Dylan Debolt, 19, of Plainfield, was arrested Friday in Georgia, Crest Hill Police Chief Ed Clark said.

Debolt is the first suspect arrested in the shootout, which drew widespread attention because it took place in broad daylight on a busy street outside a restaurant that draws customers well beyond the Joliet neighborhood.

Debolt is charged with unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated discharge of a firearm and reckless discharge of a firearm.

“We would like to thank the community for all the information they have provided,” Clark said Sunday.

Windows are boarded up after being shot out across the street from Merichka's on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 in Joliet.

He also praised investigators for their “really fantastic job” in identifying Debolt as a suspect.

A Crest Hill Police Department warrant was issued for Debolt’s arrest before he was found in Georgia, Clark said. Police continue to search for other suspects in the shootout between gunmen on both sides of Theodore Street.

Theodore Street, a major commercial thoroughfare, runs between Crest Hill and Joliet.

The gunfight took place around 1 p.m

No one is known to have been injured by the gunfire. But the windows of Merichka’s and two businesses in a strip mall on the Joliet side of the street — Envisions Salon and Ascendant Iron — were hit by bullets.

Merichka’s was closed that day but reopened April 3 to a steady stream of customers, some of whom said they would not let the incident deter them from their regular visits to the restaurant.