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16-year-old arrested in connection with fatal stabbing in south Bloomington

Yellow police tape that says "Police Line Do Not Cross." The text "WGLT Police and Fire" is laid on top of that photo.
Updated: September 24, 2023 at 8:00 PM CDT
The McLean County coroner on Sunday identified the victim in the fatal stabbing as Nicholas M. Zapata, 19, of Normal. Preliminary autopsy opinion indicates that Zapata died from multiple stab wounds of the chest, the coroner said. Toxicology testing is pending.

A 16-year-old was arrested late Saturday in connection with a fatal stabbing in south Bloomington.

The stabbing happened around 10:10 p.m. in the 300 block of Kenmore Road, just east of the Southgate Estates Trailer Park, Bloomington Police said. Officers found 19-year-old Nicholas Zapata on the ground with life-threatening injuries, police said.

Zapata, of Normal, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead around 11 p.m. Saturday, according to a joint news release from Bloomington Police and the McLean County coroner's office.

A preliminary autopsy indicated Zapata died from stab wounds in his chest; a toxicology test remains pending.

Police arrested the 16-year-old suspect at a rural address outside Heyworth, about 10 miles south of Bloomington. The 16-year-old was being held at the McLean County Juvenile Detention Center. His name has not been released.

"We are glad to have reached a swift resolution in this case. The hard work of the Bloomington Police Officers, Detectives, and staff to bring justice to the victim and the victim's family is always the highest priority," Bloomington Police Chief Jamal Simington said in a statement.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact BPD Detectives Tyrell Klein at 309‐434‐2366 or Jordan Downing at 309‐434‐2587.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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