For 3 1/2 miles, during the Friday evening rush hour, Anthony Tillmon’s rage simmered, prosecutors say.
It finally boiled over, prosecutors say, with the 34-year-old opening fire on the source of his tollway anger — semi-truck driver Eduardo Munoz.
On Wednesday, a DuPage County judge in Wheaton ordered Tillmon, a Lansing tow-truck driver, held on $3 million bail. Tillmon is charged with first-degree murder, allegedly shooting Munoz after the two argued while driving along Interstate 88 near Oak Brook on April 21.
“The public has a right to travel safely on our roads, our expressways and our tollways,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin told reporters after Tillmon’s court appearance. “Drive-by shootings not only endanger the intended victim, but put many innocent motorists and passengers at great risk of death or severe bodily harm.”
And things might have been much worse had Munoz, 43, of Sunrise, Florida, not pulled off to the side of the road after being shot three times, Berlin said. That “absolutely” saved lives, Berlin said, noting the heavy traffic at that time of day.
“Stopping in the middle of the road could have caused a tremendous amount of harm to the public,” he said.
What specifically triggered the violence remains unclear, Berlin said, noting that witnesses had seen “flailing arms” — a sign the pair were arguing. Investigators have said the men didn’t know each other.
Berlin described how technology played a pivotal role in the case. Tillmon was driving a tow truck at the time of the shooting — a vehicle equipped with GPS, Berlin said.
It appears the argument started before they entered a toll plaza about 3 miles from the scene of the shooting, he said.
The truck was identified as a vehicle belonging to a tow company in Calumet City and the truck had been assigned to Tillmon, Berlin said.
“The GPS confirmed the truck was at the scene of the murder at the time of the shooting,” he said.
“I-Pass records and video from toll plazas” also put Tillmon’s truck “at the scene of the shooting and show the two trucks actually driving right next to each other moments before the shots were fired,” Berlin said.
Video surveillance showed Tillmon’s truck at a Wal-Mart in Lansing, and Tillmon being picked up by his girlfriend, he said.
A 9mm shell casing was later recovered from the tow truck, Berlin said. So was a green vest inscribed with Tillmon’s nickname, “Hank,” Berlin said, adding that Tillmon has no known criminal convictions. Tillmon turned himself into authorities on Tuesday, Berlin said.
Munoz, who friends called “Lalo,” moved back and forth between Florida and Illinois and most recently was living in Northlake, according to Larry Perez, the lead pastor of U-Turn Covenant Church, where Munoz attended services.
A fiance, father and grandfather, Munoz drove a truck during the week and apparently was just minutes from the end of his shift when he was shot, according to the Daily Herald.
A memorial service is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the church, 35 E. North Ave., Northlake. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Friday.