CPD: State St. shooting victim to survive

August 9, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Chicago police are searching for the gunman who shot the victim near Wacker Drive. The victim is expected to survive.

Police said Monday that the shooting was not random, that the victim was a target. The victim's mother, Mildred Gooden, tells The Chicago Sun-Times that her son Todd Brown is lucky to be alive after being shot in the head, and that he didn't see his assailant.

Brown himself has an extensive arrest record for drug and weapons offenses, and he has done prison time. He is also a father, who was on his way to his job Monday when he was shot from behind.

Monday's late afternoon rain may have lessened foot traffic on the State Street Bridge, but whatever the weather, there are always lots of people there, especially at the end of the work day.

As the 39-year-old victim headed north on the bridge's west walkway, the gunman approached from behind and fired a single shot. The bullet struck the side of Brown's head. Police say it did not penetrate his skull, and that he will recover.

There were witnesses to the shooting who saw the gunman run south, and then east on Wacker. There are also numerous cameras in the area of the shooting, though their placement suggests they likely didn't capture the event itself.

One camera at the intersection of State and Wacker might have captured an image of the suspect. It is patched into the city's Operational Virtual Shield camera network, but police haven't disclosed what if anything they may be looking at.

People who cross this bridge everyday said, while violent crime may know no boundary, the brazenness of Monday's shooting is quite unsettling.

"There's always a crowd on this bridge. It's mind-boggling that they would even attempt to do it during the day," said Better Business Bureau President Steve Bernas.

"Why he chose this spot is maybe because there are a lot of people," said Virginia Jones, who works downtown. In other words, get lost quickly in the crowd.

Still, there are witnesses and technology that police hope will lead them to the shooter.

"Does it make me conscious of what's going on? Yes," said Darrell Carpenter, who works downtown. "Does it make me change my daily habits? No."

Police say that Brown has not been entirely cooperative with their investigation.

In August of last year, Brown was shot in the leg in another incident. The circumstances of that shooting are not clear.

Police did recover a shell casing from Monday's shooting scene which they hope will assist in their investigation.

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