Salem man identified as McLeansboro homicide victim

HAMILTON COUNTY — A 45-year-old Salem man has been identified as the victim of an early morning homicide in McLeansboro.

James L. Berkel was pronounced dead from a shooting injury at 1:40 a.m. Friday, at a home in the 400 block of East Broadway Street in McLeansboro.

Wayne County authorities arrested 22-year-old Zachery J. Shock, of McLeansboro a few hours later in connection with Berkel’s death. He is being held at this time in the White County Jail.

Bail for Shock has been set at $2.5 million, and Hamilton County State’s Attorney Justin Hood says Shock is due in court Monday at which time he will be formally charged with two counts First Degree Murder and one count aggravated battery with a firearm.

According to court records, between the ages of 15 and 17, Shock also lived in Salem, at one point in 2011 listing the same address on West Rogers that Berkel listed in 2014.

The investigation was handled by Illinois State Police with assistance from Hamilton County Sheriff Department, McLeansboro City Police, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.