CHICAGO (WLS) --A 21-year-old man shot while driving on the I-55 expressway this weekend said Monday night from his hospital bed that he was the victim of mistaken identity.
Carlos Feliciano was driving on the Stevenson Expressway near Central Avenue on the city's West Side on Saturday when someone fired seven shots as him.
The father of a six-month-old daughter said he has no idea why. Illinois State Police are investigating. The shooter's vehicle was last seen exiting at Central.
Whatever the reason, the shooting is part of an increase in gunfire on Chicago area highways which are putting drivers in danger.
Feliciano, who is hospitalized at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, said he thought he was going to die Saturday morning.
He was on his way to work when he said a car raced up behind him near Pulaski. Within a mile, someone inside started shooting.
ABC7 video captured images of paramedics loading Carlos into an ambulance.
Four of the seven bullets hit Feliciano in the legs. One bullet is still in him.
"He said when they were shooting the only thing he had on his mind was me and my baby. He was trying to survive for us," said Ana Arroyo, Feliciano's wife.
This shooting was one of four on major roadways just this weekend, including one on Lake Shore Drive. In that shooting, police found a car crashed into a pole. A man was dead in the backseat.
Car-to-car shootings are once again surging.
State police told ABC7 that there have been 16 shootings on Chicago area expressways so far this year, compared with 12 in the same period last year.
"If we can't be safe right in Chicago, we can't be safe on the freeway either," said Jennifer Romero, Feliciano's sister-in-law.
Feliciano moved to Chicago from Puerto Rico three years ago. Now, he's unable to walk or work and worries about providing for his six-month-old daughter Jade.
"What if he had died? My baby wouldn't have a dad for her," Arroyo said.
This past winter, state police staged a month-long surge in patrols on the roads to combat the surge in highway shootings. As a result of the initiative, police discovered 11 illegal guns inside cars.
State police said they are planning another surge this summer.