Ill. state trooper dies after shooting on Chicago highway

The trooper was not immediately identified

An Illinois state trooper has died after a shooting on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, according to an update from FOX 2.

By Rosemary Sobol
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — An Illinois State trooper was in critical condition at a hospital after a shooting on the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway Friday on the city’s South Side.

It happened in the local lanes near 43rd Street about 1:45 p.m., according to a District Chicago state trooper.

The trooper, a man, was in critical condition as of 2:45 p.m., said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center by Chicago police officers, who arrived first on the scene.

As of 3 p.m. a handful of troopers and Chicago police officers could be seen standing outside the hospital’s emergency room, as police and fire department vehicles blocked the street in front.

Just Thursday, state police released a statement about gun violence, saying on Friday they were going to be beefing up patrols “during peak criminal activity times,” in the evening and overnight hours.

The Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Patrol (DOP) for the District Chicago area will increase preventive patrol presence by 157% during peak criminal activity times on Chicago area expressways during District Chicago’s Safe Drive Detail, according to the statement.

As part of the Safe Drive Detail, the ISP will reallocate officers from around the state specifically to District Chicago to prevent roadway violence and provide ISP Patrol District Chicago maximum staffing for high violence shifts throughout each month, the statement said.

“For more than 30 years, patrol of Chicago area expressways has been a unique duty of this agency and in that time, we have not previously confronted the concentrated levels of gun violence we have faced in 2020 and 2021,” ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly said in the statement. “We are a statewide agency with statewide missions and responsibilities, but we must dedicate the greatest resources to the greatest need, and right now the greatest need is here, on Chicago’s expressways.”

District Chicago has a total of 185 reported expressway shootings in 2021, compared to 83 at this time last year, the statement said. There were 128 reported shootings total in 2020.

And in 2020 there had been more than twice the number of shootings than the 52 expressway shootings in 2019. There were 43 in 2018, according to the state police.

The Tamara Clayton Expressway Act, which went into effect in January 2020, allocated $12.5 million for Illinois State Police to place high-resolution cameras along area roadways to deter and detect these sharply increasing shootings. Installation of the high-speed, license plate-reading cameras began more than a month ago.

As recently as Tuesday, two 21-year-old men were fatally shot on the outbound Stevenson Expressway, where it splits with Interstate Highway 94, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The men, whose identities were not released, were shot about 11:30 p.m. and autopsies determined they died of multiple gunshot wounds, the medical examiner’s office said.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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