Prosecutors: Chicago police dispatcher charged in road rage shooting

Saturday, July 22, 2017
Prosecutors: Chicago police dispatcher charged in road rage shooting
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A dispatcher for the Chicago Police Department has been charged with shooting an 18-year-old woman during a traffic dispute Wednesday afternoon in McKinley Park.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago police dispatcher has been charged in connection with a road rage incident in which an 18-year-old woman was shot Wednesday in the McKinley Park neighborhood.

Kelli McGrath appeared disheveled in court Friday, wearing a red, down, winter coat and gray sweat outfit.

The Chicago dispatcher is now facing a felony charge in a road rage case. Her attorney, James McKay, set up the defense Friday.

"The true victim in this case is Keli McGrath," McKay said.

That's the argument. But Friday, prosecutors described a road rage incident that allegedly ended with McGrath shooting an 18-year-old driver in McKinley Park.

Prosecutors said the two drivers were upset near 35th Street and Ashland Avenue, the victim tossing a drink at McGrath. They stopped, argued, and according to prosecutors, the defendant tried to keep the victim at the scene, blocking her vehicle from leaving.

Prosecutors said the victim got out, and shoved McGrath.

"This other driver instigated this, was the initial aggressor, got out of her car while Ms. McGrath was trying to call the police and attacked Ms. McGrath, physically, throwing her to the ground," McKay said.

And, according to prosecutors, that's when McGrath shot the 18-year-old driver, with three children inside the victim's car. One witness saw McGrath put the gun back into her waistband.

McGrath is licensed to own the gun, and also has a concealed carry permit. Her lawyer says it was legal and it's her constitutional right to be armed.

"She's a single woman in her mid-40s who is working the midnight shift, leaving late at night, driving to the city," McKay said.

In a court appearance Friday, a judge set McGrath's bond at $100,000.

McGrath lives in the Scottsdale neighborhood and has been with OEMC for 22 years, according to department spokeswoman Melissa Stratton.

OEMC said it has no comment on the investigation. McGrath has been placed on administrative absence.