Son Accused of Killing Mother Outside Church

Yvonne Zaky Bassaly was found dead outside Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Burr Ridge

A Downers Grove man was charged Thursday evening in the shooting death of his 61-year-old mother hours earlier.

Michael Zaky Bassaly, 27, faces first-degree murder charges in connection with the death of his mother, Yvonne Zaky Bassaly, who was found slain in the parking lot of a church and preschool in Burr Ridge.

Officials said Michael Zaky Bassaly called police around 1 a.m. about a shooting outside Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Church of Chicago near Grant and 79th streets. First responders found Yvonne Zaky Bassaly and transported her to Hinsdale Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The son initially was considered a witness but later was taken into custody as a suspect. 

"It appears to be an isolated incident, and there doesn't appear to be any danger to the community," Deputy Police Chief Marc Loftus said.

The pastor of the church said the shooting had nothing to do with the parishioners at the church and said the victim trespassed on church property.

"We are so sorry about what happened," Father Samuel T. Samuel said. "Those people were not our parishioners. This is considered trespassing. They came to our property and the crime was committed."

The attorney for the church said the victim and suspect had attended a few services but weren't members.

"It's shocking," Rebecca Michaels said. "We are just going to pray for them, for both of them, and see what God's plan is."

On the scene, police tape surrounded a silver Cadillac in the church's parking lot. Police said the woman was shot in or near the vehicle.

The church canceled morning services but hoped to resume Bible study and activities Thursday evening.

"I'm so sorry about the loss of life," Father Samuel said. "Any life is so precious. My condolences to the family. I feel so bad about the one that committed the crime. I pray that he returns to the senses and repents for the awful crime."

"Any murder is a tragedy and will affect our community and the local community as a whole," Michaels said. "Burr Ridge is a quiet town and things like this don't usually happen, so it is a tragedy and it will affect us all in ways."

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