Bond set at $2 million for man accused of shooting at Blue Line train

SHARE Bond set at $2 million for man accused of shooting at Blue Line train

Stefano Esposito

sesposito@suntimes.com

Bond was set at $2 million for a man accused of opening fire on a CTA Blue Line train with “an assault weapon-type rifle” Thursday morning.

Lorenzo Jones, 25, of the 7500 block of South Luella, appeared in bond court Friday afternoon. He is charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and one count each of aggravated assault with the discharge of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm, all felonies, according to a statement from police.

Prosecutors at Friday’s bond hearing said two witnesses saw Jones with the weapon, including the train conductor and a 22-year-old female on the platform. Jones offered no motive, prosecutors said.

Jones was armed with a “high point, blue-steel rifle,” with nine live rounds, plus one in the chamber, said Cook County assistant state’s attorney Erin Antonietti.

“As the train approached, the defendant raised the weapon and fired the rifle five times at the train,” Antonietti said, noting that the bullets hit the front of the first car.

The train engineer at first thought the train had “malfunctioned,” Antonietti said, but then he saw Jones holding the weapon.

The incident was captured on video surveillance, Antonietti said.

Jones’ criminal history includes five misdemeanors, including a 2013 conviction in which he illegally sold items on CTA property, Antonietti said.

While no one was hurt in the shooting, passengers were rattled when five shots were fired from the LaSalle station platform at the oncoming train at about 11:20 a.m.

Passenger John Langston, 50, said he was on his way home to the South Side when he heard a loud noise.

“I heard about four or five shots that hit the train,” Langston said. “Boom, boom, boom.”

He said police arrived a short time later and told passengers to get off the train. “It was frightening, and now I am lost,” he said.

At a news conference later in the day, Supt. Garry McCarthy confirmed that five shots were fired at the train, but he wouldn’t speculate about the motive. He said the shooter had an FOID card and that the stock had been cut off the rifle.

“He fired a number of shots at the train, not an individual, which is perplexing,” McCarthy said. “We responded, we got the gun, we got him. It’s kind of bizarre behavior. I don’t know his motivations.”

Using CTA cameras, police tracked the man’s movements before the incident. McCarthy said the man boarded a train at LaSalle, rode it for a while and eventually returned to the LaSalle stop.

He waited there for a while, and when a train approached, he opened fire. Then the suspect took off running, but he was captured near State and Polk.

Contributing: Jordan Owen

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