Suspect in CTA shooting turns self in at church

Mother urged teen to surrender
October 8, 2008 8:51:07 PM PDT
A man wanted in connection to the fatal shooting of a girl on a CTA bus earlier this week has surrendered to police.Twenty-four-year-old Milton Wardlaw turned himself in after his mother made a public plea. Wardlaw said he did not shoot at the bus, but was shot at.

"There was an argument. The dude pulled the gun on me. He basically escorted me off the bus with the gun. This should be on camera," said the man who turned himself in.

On Sunday night, police say Wardlaw quarreled on the CTA bus with another male rider. According to police, the suspect got off at 71st and Cottage Grove and then fired a shot back into the bus before fleeing on foot.

Kiyanna Salter, 17, who was riding the bus, was wounded. She later died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Wardlaw said that is not what happened. He admits to being the man on the tape but denies he is the shooter.

"I'm telling him, 'Man, please don't shoot me in the back.' He cussed at me and said, 'Run, run.' So then I heard shots behind me, and I kept on running," the man said. "I didn't have any gun to fire."

However, someone who says she was with Salter the night of the shooting said, "I know what I saw. He can't deny that he did it because I saw it."

"I'm innocent. I did nothing wrong. I have no problem coming and turning myself in," Wardlaw said.

A surveillance camera on the CTA bus caught images of the man police believe is responsible exiting the bus. Those images were released to the public by police. Patricia Wilson said she immediately recognized the picture as her son.

"I need you, baby, to turn yourself in," she cried. "Please, you just don't know what's going on. You have to turn yourself in. You have to do it now, please."

Wilson then publicly pleaded for her son to turn himself in at the family's West Side church, the Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church or call the church's pastor.

"I need him to turn himself in, so we can all find out exactly what happened," Wilson said. "If he did it, then he'll pay the price. If he didn't, then God known I want my child to be safe and come home."

After a meeting with detectives Tuesday night, Wilson and her pastor made a public plea with the hope of avoiding a potentially deadly confrontation on the streets.

"They're afraid, same as we are. They figure he has a gun and will shoot him, which is very possible since they think he's killed someone already," said Pastor Vesta Dixon, Evening Star. "That's the police officers' fear. We talked with them last night."

"I'm so sorry, God knows I am. I'm sorry for your loss," Wilson said to Salter's family. "I'm so sorry. I don't know what happened. I just don't know."

"We don't know what happened. Let justice have its way," Dixon said.

Salter was a student at Percy Julian High School on the city's Far South Side, the same high school attended by Blair Holt, who was shot and killed while riding on a CTA bus about 18 months ago.


Load Comments