Shots fired near El Centro


Courtesy of Laura Rojas

An incident of road rage ended in a driver shooting bullets around the corner from the El Centro campus.

Laura Rojas, Writer

Two vehicles were involved in a traffic incident that ended with shots fired on March 14.

The shooting occurred at 10:45 a.m. on the Kennedy Expressway where the shots were reported to have been fired on the exit ramp to Kimball Avenue, right around the corner from the NEIU El Centro campus.  

“The victim basically admitted this was road rage,” said NEIU Police Chief John Escalante. The altercation between the two drivers began at some point while the two were driving on the expressway.

The victim, a 28-year-old male, alleged that he was being followed on the Kennedy after the traffic incident with the suspect and was fired upon while trying to escape through an exit.

The victim sought police assistance and encountered Officer Jose Orozco, an NEIU police officer who was driving around the El Centro campus perimeter on Avondale Avenue. The victim reported the incident after the suspect fled.

According to Illinois State Police – who are now leading the investigation – the suspect was driving a light blue Mercedes Benz sport utility vehicle and one round was fired into the back window of the victim’s car. The bullets exited the car through the front windshield.

The victim was not injured during the shooting.

Officer Orozco’s report stated that the victim last saw the suspect continue southbound down Kimball Avenue. Officer Orozco did not hear the round of shots as it was fired and did not see the suspect’s vehicle.

The victim was only able to give a vague description of the suspect, stating that the driver was male and appeared to be either Caucasian or Hispanic.

Officer Orozco immediately contacted Chicago police who arrived within a minute after the shooting occurred. Subsequently, the Illinois State Police were called onto the scene when it was determined to be within their jurisdiction since the shot took place while on the exit ramp of the Kennedy Expressway.

The investigation is still open and no arrests have been made according to the Illinois State Police.