Fatal Shootings Soar on Chicago Expressways

A fatal shooting on a Chicago Expressway ramp in April served as another sobering reminder of the dangers of the roads in and around the city.

A report in the Chicago Tribune detailed how a man from Englewood was charged with fatally shooting a man driving on a Dan Ryan Expressway ramp.

The attacker is accused of making off with $600 cash. He was reportedly caught by police, including an off-duty police officer who witnessed the robbery in his rearview mirror, police reports stated.

Police reported Jeremiah Holt, a 20-year-old from South Aberdeen Street, was arrested for the shooting death of Jeremy Scullark on the northbound Chinatown exit ramp from the Dan Ryan Expressway.

A 19-year-old passenger in the car was shot but survived. Holt allegedly walked toward the car and fired several times into the vehicle. Scullark turned hard right and struck two other vehicles. He exited the driver's seat and attempted to flee north, collapsing a few feet from the car, prosecutors said. The 19-year-old escaped after he was hit in the elbow.

Police said Investigators obtained videos from businesses showing Holt before, during and after the shooting.  One video was said to show him going into the business and hiding the gun.

Holt was interviewed by state police investigators. Police said he admitted on video to shooting Scullark and taking the money from the car. The Tribune report said he knew about the money in advance.

Another driver was fatally shot on a highway near Chicago in April. Police said Eduardo Munoz, a 43-year-old truck driver, was fatally shot on the Reagan Memorial Tollway near Oak Brook.

He was shot dead on Interstate 88 in Oak Brook, according to a release from the Illinois State Police. Munoz, a trucker from Florida, was driving a semitrailer truck east on I-88 he was shot by someone traveling in same direction. State police said the motive for the killing was unclear.

In May 2016, The Tribune noted the steady rise of Chicago Expressway killings in recent years. The article warned violence from crime-ridden neighborhoods was spilling over onto the highways.

It reported the wounding of a truck driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway in May 2016 was the 20th shooting on the Cook County interstate system in 12 months and the second time gunfire erupted in a week on the Expressway, according to Illinois State Police.

In all there were 47 Expressway shootings around Chicago in 2016, the Tribune reported. That compared to 19 in 2014 and 37 in 2015.

Fatal shootings on the Expressways are often charged as first-degree murders. First-degree murder is the most serious homicide crime in Illinois. The state no longer has the death penalty meaning the maximum sentence is incarceration for life.

To prove a first-degree murder charge the prosecution must show beyond reasonable doubt, that a defendant killed the victim without lawful justification and either:

§  Meant to kill the victim or do great bodily harm, or knew his or her act would have the impact.

§  Was aware the act created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm; or

§  Was attempting or committed a forcible felony other than second-degree murder such as a sexual assault

If you have been charged with a shooting homicide death, it’s vital to obtain experienced legal representation. Call our Illinois criminal defense lawyers at (312) 229-0008.

or read more about our attorneys here.