Mother killed in random shooting remembered

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Friends and family of 44-year-old Tracy Czaczkowski will say a final goodbye to the Buffalo Grove mother today.    Funeral services will be begin at 11am at a church in Arlington Heights.

Hundreds packed an Arlington Heights funeral home for visitation Friday.

Czaczkowski’s husband is a DEA agent, and the special agent in charge of the Chicago office reflected on the tragic situation.

“Today, the family and friends of Tracy continue to grieve, while preparing to say goodbye to a wonderful wife, mother, daughter and friend. The family is extremely thankful for the outpouring of prayers and support everyone has shown this family,” said Dennis Wichern, DEA Special Agent in Charge.

Czaczkowski was shot – and eventually died from her wounds -- in a random drive-by shooting on a Wisconsin highway, in front of her husband and two children.

The Czaczkowski family was driving home to Buffalo Grove after a weekend trip to the Wisconsin Dells. When they found themselves driving next to 20-year old Zachary Hays, he opened fire for no apparent reason.

Hays has been charged with the killing. He’s also a suspect in the homicide of 42-year old Gabriel Sanchez earlier that day in West Allis, a Milwaukee suburb.

Hays remains hospitalized in Wisconsin after he was shot and wounded by sheriff's deputies on the highway. Hays was with his two brothers at the time of the killing. They both appeared in Dane County, Wisconsin court Friday, but the family, still grieving, sees no closure in the criminal justice system.

“I don’t think they’re there yet, they’re still dealing with the loss of Tracy, they believe in the justice system and that part will work its way through, they’re still working now on the loss of Tracy,” Wichern said.

The family expressed gratitude for the many donations to the children's education fund. So far, nearly $98,000 has been raised.