Chicago police are searching for a man who allegedly fired shots at a CTA bus Monday in Greater Grand Crossing on the South Side.
About 6:15 p.m, an unknown man got off a northbound No. 75 CTA bus in the 7600 block of South State Street, pulled out a handgun and fired shots into the rear of the bus, striking multiple passengers, Chicago police said.
Officers are unsure what led to the shooting but initially said it began as an argument between teens and a suspected 35-year-old gunman. They later retracted the statement.
Chief of Patrol Fred Waller said Wednesday he was “more than confident” that the high-definition photo released by Chicago police will lead to the arrest of the shooter.
“The cameras that they have are so great with CTA, I’m overly confident,” Waller said, noting that the photo has already produced “many, many calls” from people who think they can identify the person in the photo.
The alleged shooter is described by police as an African American male between 18 and 25 years old, standing between 5 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 8 inches and weighing between 140 and 160 pounds. He has a black afro, brown eyes and a dark brown complexion, police said, and was wearing a black hoodie under a light blue jean jacket, striped jeans and black and white colored shoes.
Pressed to define the motive for the broad daylight shooting, Waller said:
“It seems to be a personal conflict. A lot of times, we say a gang conflict. The people may be gang members. But, a lot of times, it’s a personal conflict. That’s what it seems to be.”
Waller stressed that “some” shooting victims were “unintended targets,” but one “may have been” an intended target.
As for the brazenness of opening fire on a crowded CTA bus in broad daylight, Waller said he’s not at all surprised.
“It just shows, No. 1, how conflict resolution is with a weapon. Broad daylight and people know about these cameras. It’s always been publicized how great the cameras are with CTA,” he said.
“But, people just don’t care. To have been seen by many, many witnesses — people just don’t care.”
“Because they know that, in the end, even when he gets caught, he may not be held accountable. And he may be released as we see many offenders who commit violent acts who carry weapons unauthorized are released soon after we arrest,” Waller said.
“There’s no accountability at the end of that road. I’m not gonna say whose fault it is. But we just need more help from the legislation and more help from the state’s attorney’s office. They prosecute many times, so it’s the judge’s also. We need help from all of those components.”
A different person of interest was taken into custody following the shooting but has since been released without charges, police said.
Anyone with information about this person is asked to call Area South Detectives at 312-747-8271.
Contributing: Sun-Times Wire