Illinois State Police to saturate patrols following Chicago-area highway shootings; Data shows very few arrests are made in such cases


CHICAGO (CBS) – Overnight, three highway shootings were reported in northern Illinois over a four-hour period, including two within the city limits of Chicago.

It all comes after two men were also killed earlier this week on the Stevenson Freeway.

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Late Thursday afternoon, Illinois State Police said they had a plan. They will more than double their patrols.

State police said the additional patrols would begin on Friday evening. This is going to be a 157% increase – although for security reasons the state police would not provide the exact number of patrols that this represents.

We’ve been following the spikes in violence on our roads for months on CBS 2, but now we’ve got new information on how many of those behind this violence are getting away with it. As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported, it’s not often that shooters get caught.

In fact, the number of people actually identified and then arrested in highway shootings is in single digits.

We have tracked 185 Chicago-area freeway shootings this year at 7:30 a.m. Thursday. Last year they were 128, and in 2019 they were 52.

So with 92 days left in 2021, we’re not just looking at record violence, but also roads that have seen shootings almost every other day of the year.

A total of 16 people have also been killed in these highway shootings this year. Two men were killed this week – a driver and a passenger – were killed in a double shootout on the Stevenson Freeway Tuesday night near Wentworth Avenue and Chinatown.

Meanwhile, 85 people have been injured in shootings on our highways this year.

That figure included a man who was seriously injured by gunshot wounds on the Eisenhower Freeway near Kedzie Avenue on the city‘s West Side just after 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Chicago Police joined Illinois State Police to search the road and found cartridge cases.

The man injured in the shooting was 55 years old and was from Downers Grove, and was driving the car hit by the gunfire. His injuries were serious, but were not life threatening.

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His passenger, a 22-year-old man from Woodridge, was not injured.

Hours later, shots were fired at the Jane Addams Memorial toll freeway near the Belvidere Oasis in the northwestern Chicago area. Fortunately, no one got hurt.

But a few minutes after the second shooting, at around 1:26 a.m. Thursday morning, there was a third shooting. Shots were fired at the Bishop Ford Expressway near 130th Street – a car was hit, but no one was injured.

And while Illinois State Police investigated all three overnight shootings and Tuesday’s fatal shooting, we know the spike in shootings is not mirrored with a spike in arrests.

Of 185 shootings this year, only nine people – nine shooters – have been arrested and charged.

Molina’s interview request was declined, so we were unable to ask the ISP to respond in person to this low number. But the FAI released a statement, which said in part that there are now “specialist teams specifically dedicated to the mission of stopping and combating violence on our highways”, with the FAI “saturating the highways to ensure public safety “.

“For over 30 years patrolling the Chicago area freeways has been a unique duty of this agency and during that time we have never faced the concentrated levels of gun violence we faced in 2020 and 2021, “said PSI Director Brendan F. Kelly said in a press release. “We are a state-wide agency with state-wide missions and responsibilities, but we have to devote the greatest resources to the greatest need, and right now the greatest need is here on the Chicago freeways. “

The FAI has reported that as part of the Safe Drive Detail, state police will reassign agents from across the state to the Chicago District to prevent traffic violence.

We have already heard of saturation from the ISP. Last month, a soldier was on and near the Dan Ryan Expressway when shots were fired and was able to respond immediately.

Meanwhile, last month we also heard about plans to install 200 license plate cameras to help state police investigate the highway shootings. There has been no update from the ISP on when these cameras will be operational, but we do know these cameras will be installed within the next year – made possible by a $ 12.5 million grant. .

Here’s a breakdown of where the shootings took place on Chicago-area freeways:

2021 Cook County Highway Shoots listed by location on the highway (09/30/9 – 7:30 a.m.)

I-90/94 (Dan Ryan):




I-94 (Bishop Ford):




I-55 (Stevenson):


I90 / 94 (Kennedy):




I-94 (Eden):






NO MORE NEWS: 3 highway shootings reported in less than 4 hours overnight

Here is a series of questions Molina posed to the ISP, and the ISP’s responses:

Q: How many shootings have killed one? How many shootings resulted in an injury?

A: In 2021 – A total of 85 highway shootings were reported resulting in injuries and there were a total of 16 reported highway shootings which resulted in fatalities. The total number of injuries, including fatalities, is 119; 102 people injured and 17 dead.

Q: How many shooters were identified in the 2021 shootings? How many have been charged in connection with the 2021 shootings?

A: Currently, in 2021, 9 people were arrested and charged with highway shootings in 2021.

Q: Can you provide information on how the number / location of soldiers sent changed, due to the fire?

A: Currently, the Major Crimes Unit of the Criminal Investigation Division (DCI) of the Illinois State Police (ISP) is investigating most of the reported highway shootings. The ISP Patrol Division (DOP) has multiple initiatives underway to combat violence on our highways and specialized teams specifically dedicated to the mission of stopping and combating violence on our highways by saturating highways in order to ensure public safety. The ISP continues to proactively patrol and saturate the Chicagoland highways in an effort to ensure public safety.

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