ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Kahyal Merrills, 31, has been arrested and charged with the murder of Treesa Wiley and shooting another woman during a 2016 home invasion.

According to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were called to a home in the 1300 block of Carbaugh Avenue for a reported home invasion on January 30th, 2016, at 2:05 a.m.

When deputies arrived, they found the two women had been shot in a bedroom. Wiley, 35, died at the hospital. The other woman, Kristal Scott, 30, was shot several times but has since recovered, police said.

Both women taught preschool at House of Grace Learning Center and Daycare in Rockford at the time of the shooting. Wiley was studying for her bachelor’s degree.

According to the probable cause statement, both women were asleep when Merrills shot them. Police say Wiley was killed by a single bullet that pierced her shoulder and chest. Scott was shot several times but was able to hide in a closet and dial 911. 

A fingerprint was found on the bedroom door, which the Illinois State Police Crime lab later linked to Merills.

In an interview with police, Merills reportedly told investigators that he was at the Concord Commons housing project when he was contacted to go commit a burglary. Merills reportedly told officers that he drove two other men to the women’s house and went in to steal televisions.

Merills then told investigators he went into the bedroom and, in the dark, stepped on someone’s leg who was sleeping on the floor. He then said he heard gunshots and fled from the residence.

Merills has been charged with First Degree Murder.

“We are pleased to announce that this case has been charged, and justice will finally be served for the victim and her family,” said Sheriff Gary Caruana. “This would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our investigators and the cooperation of the community.”