Gun used in Chicago-to-Evanston murder spree tied to past shootings in Chicago
The gun that Jason Nightengale used in a rampage Jan. 9 that left 4 dead had been stolen from a legitimate owner, a source said, and probably on the street for a “long, long time.”
Ballistics tests show the .45-caliber handgun used in a Jan. 9 terror spree that started on the South Side and ended in Evanston — leaving four people dead and three wounded — had been used in previous “shooting incidents” in Chicago, police said.
Tom Ahern, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, said he didn’t know whether anyone was killed or wounded in the earlier shootings or when and where they took place.
Investigators have tested the gun that authorities say Jason Nightengale used in the spree earlier this month and have linked it to bullet casings found at other shooting incidents in Chicago that remain under investigation, Ahern said.
Police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also are investigating how Nightengale got the gun. That, too, remains under investigation.
The spree that ended in Evanston began, authorities say, when Nightengale, 32, of Chicago, fatally shot Yiran Fan in the head as the 30-year-old University of Chicago graduate student sat in a car in an East Hyde Park parking garage.
Nearby, at the Barclay condo building in the 4900 block of South East End Avenue, Nightengale shot and killed a doorwoman, Aisha Nevell, 46, and wounded a 77-year-old woman in the building’s lobby, authorities say.
They say he then drove to 93rd Street and Halsted Avenue in Brainerd, where he fatally shot 20-year-old Anthony Faulkner Jr. inside a convenience store where Faulkner was buying snacks and a lottery ticket. He also wounded an 81-year-old woman who was working behind the counter.
Then, authorities say Nightengale shot a 15-year-old girl in the head in the 10300 block of South Halsted Avenue through the window of the car she was riding in with her mother. The girl was left in critical condition.
The rampage ended nearly four hours later, at about 5:40 p.m., when Nightengale shot and killed Marta Torres, 61, after taking her hostage at an IHOP restaurant at 101 Asbury Ave. on the Evanston side of Howard Street.
Evanston police officers said they killed Nightengale in a shootout after he ran out of the restaurant.
The gun Nightengale used was purchased at a store in the Chicago area and was stolen from a legitimate owner, a law enforcement source said.
Police believe the gun was on the street for a “long, long time,” the source said.
Nightengale, a father of twin girls, listed jobs over the years as a janitor, security guard, taxi driver and forklift operator, according to his LinkedIn page.
His family said he “was fighting some demons.” In the week before the shootings, he had posted dozens of videos online in which he ranted about Satan, waved a gun and talked about killing random people.
Court records show Nightengale once lived in the Hyde Park area where the spree began as well as in Rogers Park, near the Chicago-Evanston border where he was killed.
The police haven’t said whether they know a motive for the killings.