Felon broke into ex-girlfriend’s Washington Park home and shot her after breakup, prosecutors say

Chicago police had responded to 10 domestic calls involving 47-year-old Tarnche Hill and his former girlfriend, prosecutors said. No arrests were made, even though the 28-year-old woman repeatedly reported that Hull attacked her.

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Tarnche Hull faces multiple felony charges related to the shooting of his ex-girlfriend on Aug. 22.

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A convicted felon was charged Wednesday with forcing his way into his ex-girlfriend’s Washington Park home and shooting her after she ended their tumultuous relationship earlier this year.

Tarnche Hull, 47, faces felony counts of attempted murder, home invasion, aggravated battery with a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, according to Cook County court records.

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Tarnche Hull

Chicago police

During his bail hearing Wednesday, Assistant State’s Attorney Rhianna Biernat said Chicago police had responded to multiple domestic-related calls involving Hull and the 28-year-old woman. Though she made accusations of abuse, Hull was never arrested.

The relationship spiraled out of control again on Aug. 22 when the two had an argument and Hull left the woman’s home in the 5500 block of South Prairie Avenue, Biernat said. The following day, she saw him sitting outside as she brought her kids to school and then spotted him again near her son’s school.

When she tried to break up with him in a text message, they continued arguing and Hull showed up at her back door later that night, Biernat said. The woman opened the door, and Hull pushed past her to get inside. 

Hull picked up a knife but dropped it as the woman “tried to diffuse the situation,” Biernat said. She briefly went upstairs before noticing that Hull had a gun in his waistband. 

After she asked why Hull was armed, he pulled out the gun and cocked it, Biernat said. As she tried to “block herself with her arm,” Hull fired a single shot that traveled from her arm to her neck, severing her carotid artery and causing her to have a stroke.

The woman’s 12-year-old daughter heard the gunshot and ran downstairs to find Hull covered in blood and aiming the gun at her mother’s chest, Biernat said. Hull told the girl to call the police before leaving out the back door.

Responding officers found a 9mm shell casing at the scene, Biernat said. The woman and her daughter both identified Hull as the shooter.

He was taken into custody Monday in South Holland, where officers found him with a loaded 9mm handgun after he tried to run off, Biernat said. He was served with an order of protection the woman had previously taken out against him.

Between June 2021 and July, officers responded to at least 10 calls involving the former couple, Biernat said. The woman repeatedly told officers she was attacked by Hull, alleging among other things that he threatened to kill her, claimed he had placed a bomb in her car and punched her in the face on several occasions.

Hull has a lengthy rap sheet that includes felony convictions for aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, Biernat said. He was on probation for a federal gun trafficking conviction from 2016, and an arrest warrant was lodged in that case.

Biernat said the new case was initially reviewed by prosecutors in September, but charges weren’t initially brought because detectives couldn’t find Hull. He had fled the state, prompting the U.S. marshals to file the arrest warrant, Biernat said.

Hull’s public defender, Suzin Farber, appeared to argue that the home invasion charge was unwarranted, insisting that Hull’s ex-girlfriend had let him into her home a day earlier and there was no forced entry.

Farber raised the possibility her client acted in self-defense or was engaged in “mutual combat,” a disputed legal concept that has previously been cited in charging decisions by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Farber noted the past interactions with police didn’t result in any arrests, highlighting the most recent incident in July when the woman was seen holding a knife and officers couldn’t determine who the aggressor was.

Farber said Hull works for a trucking company and lives with his mother.

“This is clearly two individuals who are very volatile,” Farber said of the former couple.

Judge Barbara Dawkins said it was unnecessary to determine who was the aggressor in the prior incidents and ruled that the “proof is evident and the presumption is great” that Hull had shot his ex-girlfriend.

Dawkins denied Hull bail. His next court date was set for Nov. 30.

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