IL State Police begin efforts to combat expressway shootings

EMBED </>More Videos

In the first six weeks of 2016 there have been seven shootings on local highways, an average of a little more than one shooting per week. (WLS)

In the first six weeks of 2016 there have been seven shootings on local highways, an average of a little more than one shooting per week.

On Feb. 7 the outbound Eisenhower was shut down for three hours while police investigated a shooting that sent one person to the hospital and left the SUV he was riding-in with several bullet holes.

"He's okay, thank God, but the violence needs to stop," Tameka Lloyd, a friend of the victim, told Eyewitness News on Feb. 7.

State police have a new campaign promising more patrols from the air and ground, including by undercover officers, eight months after the I-Team first began reporting on a surge in Chicago highway shootings.

A suburban doctor also had his car shot up on the Eisenhower Expressway at rush hour. At the time state police also promised to increase patrols, but since then records reveal the problem as only gotten worse.

In 2015 there were 40 shootings on Chicago-area highways, a 110 percent increase over the previous year.

Police say road rage isn't to blame; instead, violence in the city's neighborhoods is spilling onto expressways.

The tough talk from troopers in their new campaign also comes with a request: If you see something, say something.

"There's a lack of assistance from witnesses. Not too many folks are stopping and providing information," said Major Luis Gutierrez of the Illinois State Police in May of 2015.

State police say their efforts to slow the shootings last year didn't include much new manpower. Now they plan to bring in troopers from other regions including the Chicago Police Department and Cook County Sheriff's Office. They'll give their new plan a try at least 30 days to see if it helps.

Anyone who witnesses expressway crime or has any information about expressway shootings is encouraged to contact the ISP at 847-294-4400.

Related Topics:
chicago shootingdrivingchicago crimecarI-TeamCook County
(Copyright ©2017 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments