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Man gravely wounds own driver while firing from inside car at SUV: charges

Jake Lee was on parole from an earlier shooting when he opened fire at a SUV from the passenger seat of a car, but he ultimately shot his own driver, prosecutors said.

Jake Lee arrest photo
Jake Lee
Chicago police

Three months after being released on parole, a man gravely wounded the driver of a car he was riding in Sunday morning when he opened fire on an SUV in Park Manor, according to prosecutors.

Jake Lee, 27, of Englewood, is charged with aggravated battery with a firearm in the shooting. But he will likely face a murder charge when the 26-year-old man he is accused of wounding is taken off of life support, Cook County prosecutors said at Lee’s initial hearing Tuesday. Lee was denied bail at the hearing.

Lee was in the front passenger seat of a car about 5:40 a.m. Sunday in the first block of West 71st St. when the 26-year-old man driving the car pulled alongside a white SUV that was waiting to make a left turn, prosecutors said.

Lee began firing at the SUV with a .40-caliber handgun from the passenger seat and accidentally shot his own driver in the head and damaged the driver-side window, prosecutors said. Despite being shot, the driver managed to drive more than two miles to the 6700 block of South Marshfield.

Shortly after, another car pulled up in the block and a witness told investigators that Lee got a shiny object out of the first car and placed it in the trunk of the car that had arrived, prosecutors said. The driver of that car drove away before police arrived, but later returned to the scene of the crash.

The 26-year-old driver who was shot was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to police. At Lee’s hearing Tuesday, prosecutors said he was pronounced brain dead on Monday. A source familiar with the investigation said he was being kept alive so that his organs could be donated.

Prosecutors said surveillance footage of the shooting did not appear to show that any shots were fired from the white SUV.

Lee allegedly told investigators that the shots that stuck the 26-year-old came from the SUV, until he was confronted with ballistic evidence that showed they were fired from inside the car the 26-year-old was driving, prosecutors said.

Lee later allegedly admitted “he may have gotten some shots off” and said his right hand had tested positive for gunshot residue. Additionally, prosecutors said, there was no damage to the outside of the car Lee was in.

An assistant public defender for Lee said he was most recently employed as a cook. Illinois Department of Corrections records show he was paroled April 21 after serving eight years on a 2011 conviction for aggravated battery with a handgun.

Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Lee held without bail and set his next court date for Aug. 9