Family of alleged victim in McKinley Park road rage shooting speaks out

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The family of Selene Garcia spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since the 18-year-old was shot after a traffic altercation with city of Chicago dispatcher Keli McGrath escalated to violence.

Selene Gonzalez, Garcia's mother, said it's not fair that while her daughter is fighting for her life that the woman who shot her is walking around free.

The call for justice comes the same day McGrath, 46, appeared in court - charged with aggravated battery. She was released on her own recognizance and could be placed on electronic monitoring while awaiting trial.

"She's devastated by all of this. The evidence is going to show she's the victim here, and unfortunately she's charged," said James McKay, McGrath's attorney.

According to investigators, the incident last week started near 35th and Ashland when McGrath, who was on her way home from a medical appointment, tried to pull in front of Garcia's car without signaling.

While stopped at a traffic light, Garcia threw a cup of soda through McGrath's car window -- hitting her.

When Garcia then pulled into a nearby alley, McGrath followed her while pulling out her phone to call police. That's when Garcia got out of her car to argue with McGrath, but when Garcia eventually tried to drive away, McGrath stood in front of her vehicle to keep her from leaving.

Angered, Garcia got out of her car, grabbed McGrath's hair and shoved her to the ground.

That's when McGrath allegedly shot Garcia as the woman's two children -- a 2-year-old daughter and a 3-month-old son and Garcia's 12-year-old brother, remained in the car.

McGrath's attorney says she had no choice but to defend herself.

"The rage was coming from the other driver. The evidence is going to show what a peaceful driver is supposed to do under those circumstances," said McKay.

Relatives say Garcia is unconscious and remains hospitalized in critical condition with a bullet still lodged in her chest.

"I try to be strong and yell for help, and that's what I did," said Jesus Gonzalez, Garcia's brother.

And while she recovers, attorneys for Garcia's family plan on filing a civil lawsuit as they demand that the state's attorney send a clear message that road rage won't be tolerated from anyone.

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.
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