A man was seriously wounded in what police believe to be a robbery-related shooting on a CTA Blue Line train near the UIC campus Wednesday morning.
The victim, thought to be about 30 years old, was exiting a westbound train at the UIC-Halsted stop around 10:45 a.m. when another person on board started pulling on the victim’s backpack, Chicago Police Chief of Patrol Fred Waller told reporters.
After a brief exchange of words, the suspect pulled out a gun and shot the man once in the back, Waller said. The suspect took the backpack and fled.
The victim was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he’s in “very serious” condition, Waller said, adding there were several other people on the train car at the time.
No one was in custody for the shooting as of Wednesday afternoon; police officials said they planned to circulate CTA surveillance footage of the suspect.
The train remained at the station several hours after the shooting as detectives investigated.
The shooting was the second incident of serious violence on CTA property in as many days.
A musician was stabbed on the platform of the Jackson Red Line station about 1:35 p.m. Tuesday. The victim, a 26-year-old man, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition and a woman was taken into police custody shortly after the stabbing.
Kenneth Franklin, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, which represents CTA employees, said safety on CTA vehicles has been front of mind, especially lately.
“We are genuinely concerned about the passengers. We’re genuinely concerned about our employees, my union members,” Franklin said. “These types of incidents are becoming too common and we’re just hoping that the Chicago Transit Authority, CPD, the Mayor’s Office [are] ready to put forth a stronger effort in preventing these types of incidents because they’re becoming too common.”
Police records show in the past 10 years there have been nearly 6,200 robberies and attempted robberies on CTA property. Of those, 835 have ended in arrests.
Shootings on trains, however, are substantially less common. CPD records show since January 2010 there have been five nonfatal shootings on CTA trains. In that same time period, there have been eight murders on CTA trains and station platforms.
The most recent fatal shooting on CTA property happened in December when a 20-year-old man was shot and killed at the Howard station in Rogers Park.