Witnesses describe chaos during shooting rampage between Chicago, Evanston that killed at least 3

Suspect posted slurred, rambling videos before fatal rampage: sources

ByChuck Goudie, Cate Cauguiran, and Jesse Kirsch, Alexis McAdams WLS logo
Monday, January 11, 2021
Witnesses describe chaos during shooting rampage
Police are working to piece together Jason Nightengale's crime spree that started on Chicago's South Side and ended in Evanston Saturday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Seven people have been shot and at least three of the victims killed after a shooting rampage that stretched from Chicago's South Side to Evanston Saturday, according to Chicago police.

As law enforcement officials gather more information about the deadly crime spree, they're providing more details.

"When you hear this whole story, it seems that you have a crystal ball of what he's doing next, and we all know we don't have a crystal ball where he goes next nor do we have this on any of our POD cameras," Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Saturday night. "We are responding to the scene as these crimes are happening, getting information, and again, he's going to the next while we are trying to keep up with what's happened previously. By the time we put it all together, he's here in Evanston."

The shooting spree stretched from Chicago's South Side to Evanston, police say.

Chicago police identified the suspect as 32-year-old Jason Nightengale. Nightengale was killed by Evanston police, marking the end to an hours-long shooting spree.

Leading up to the hours-long, cross-metro crime spree on Saturday, Nightengale posted slurred and rambling social media videos, according to law enforcement sources.

RELATED: U of C student, doorwoman, convenience store shopper ID'd as 3 killed in random shooting spree

Anthony Faulkner, 20, is among at least 3 killed during a random shooting spree that stretched from South Side Chicago to Evanston Saturday.

Crime Spree Timeline

A 30-year-old University of Chicago student is among the victims killed in Nightengale's shooting spree, CPD said. Another victim was a woman who was shot after she was taken hostage at an IHOP in Evanston, according to Evanston police.

Officials initially said seven people were shot and five killed Saturday, but on Sunday amended the count to three killed in the shooting rampage.

Just before 2 p.m. Saturday, a U of C student was shot and killed in a parking garage of the Regent Park apartment complex in the 5000-block of South East End Avenue, according to police and school officials.

The university was notified that a student had been discovered in a car with a gunshot wound, officials said in a statement to the university's community.

The university put out a statement saying, "This is deeply painful news for the University community and our South Side neighborhood. The University will provide support for members of our community affected by this incident."

The university on Sunday identified the student killed as Yiran Fan, a 30-year-old PhD student in a joint program of the Booth School of Business and the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics.

"While these developments do not indicate an ongoing threat to our community, the University of Chicago Police Department will maintain its increased presence for the time being near the location of the shooting at 5035 S. East End Avenue," the university said.

Minutes after Fan was killed, a few blocks away, a person entered the vestibule of an apartment building in the 4900-block of South East End Avenue and asked to use a phone before opening fire, according to CPD.

Chicago police provide update on shooting spree

Seven people have been shot, at least three of the victims killed, after a shooting spree between Chicago and Evanston. A U of C student and the gunman are among those dead.

"He proceeded to walk into the building, and I think she told him he had to leave the building and then he shot her. So then she began to run and he shot her again," said a neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

A 77-year-old woman who was inside the building retrieving mail was also shot, CPD said.

One woman, who was struck in the chest, was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, police said. The other woman was taken to the same hospital in critical condition.

Neighbors said the woman killed was the longtime doorwoman at the complex.

"She was a good person. She has two kids that I know of," the neighbor said.

Sunday afternoon, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the woman killed at the apartment complex as 46-year-old Aisha Nevell, but her family said the mother of two went by Aisha Johnson.

Nightengale then pulled a gun on a man, who police said he knew, and pushed him into an apartment in the 5000-block of South East End Avenue around 2:45 p.m. and demanded the keys to the victim's vehicle. He then headed to a nearby parking garage to locate the victim's red Toyota and took off.

About an hour later, Chicago police said Nightengale entered a convenience store in the 9300-block of South Halsted Street. He announced a robbery before firing shots, striking a 20-year-old man in the head. The victim was transported to Christ Hospital where he later died. An 81-year-old victim inside the business was also shot in the back and the neck. She was transported to the same hospital in critical condition, CPD said.

"He's not normal, like, he's not human," said Abudulelah Abualoul, the owner of Jimmy's Best which is the restaurant next door to the food mart. "He go all the way in the back to buy a juice. When he come back, there's a customer in front of him, like, when he one back he shoot him and right away he go down, and he shoot the cashier."

Family identified the 20-year-old victim Monday as Anthony Faulkner. They say he recently moved back to Chicago from Minnesota, looking for a fresh start after he lost his job due to the pandemic.

Anthony Faulkner, 20, is among at least 3 killed during a random shooting spree that stretched from South Side Chicago to Evanston Saturday.

Surveillance video shows Nightengale moments before and after he shot others inside the food mart.

Abualoul said, on the video he watched, the suspect pointed the gun at the 81-year-old cashier a second time.

"He jumped inside the store. He steal one register and open the second register -- the lottery register, and he take the cash and he tried to tell the girl, 'do you want me to kill you?'' Abualoul recalled.

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After the shooting Nightengale can be seen on the surveillance video walking out, holding a register cash drawer.

As he drives away, he fires more shots in the parking lot as at least two people run for cover.

"The killer, he's coming from his car like, he opened the door and then he tried to shoot everybody in the street," Abualoul said.

Abualoul also said that after police arrived to investigate, the suspect came back to the scene and fired more shots in the direction of police.

"I look at the police outside, I start seeing the police armed gun like the police run with guns like they try to protect us, like, 'stay inside nobody go outside,'" Abualoul described.

Police said Nightengale then fled the scene and at approximately 5 p.m. he fired shots from an unknown location, striking a 15-year-old girl in the head as she rode in the back seat of a car her mom was driving in the 10300-block of South Halsted Street. The teen is said to be in critical condition at Comer Children's Hospital, according to CPD. Her mother was not injured.

A short time later, police said Nightengale returned to the scene of the robbery in the 9300-block of South Halsted where he then fired shots, striking a Chicago police vehicle.

Evanston police said they responded to a call about a man with a gun at an Evanston CVS store near Asbury and Howard around 5:40 p.m. When they arrived, the suspect ran across the street to an IHOP, where he shot a woman he allegedly took hostage, according to Evanston Police Chief Demitrous Cook.

Evanston police press conference on crime spree, hostage situation

At least four people have been shot, two killed, after a shooting spree between Chicago and Evanston.

"As I was parked over here by IHOP, there was a body over here shot up on the ground. Female probably like in her mid-40s, bleeding out," witness Israel Lopez said.

The woman was shot in the neck and was in critical condition, police said.

Nightengale then led police on a chase east on Howard, where they exchanged gunfire near a Dollar General parking lot, and Nightengale was fatally wounded by Evanston police, officials said.

"There was an exchange of gunfire. I'm not sure who fired first, but it was in response to violence he perpetrated in our town," Cook said.

Spencer Nabor was in her car about to pull into the CVS parking lot she saw it all unfold.

"My dog was in the car. He was barking because it was so loud. Yeah, it was scary, I was screaming," she said. "It felt like they are just all around me which is why I was ducking in the car thinking, you know, a shot was going to go right through my car."

Evanston investigators are collaborating with Chicago police to piece together Nightengale's crime spree that started on Chicago's South Side and ended in Evanston.

In all, the victims' ages range from 15-to-81 years old.

Evanston Mayor Stephen Hagerty released a statement Sunday, saying "Evanston Police officers shot and killed the gunman and brought the bloodshed to an end in a busy commercial area before anyone else could be hurt or killed. ... While we are still learning more about the offender, his motive, and the totality of [Saturday's] tragic events, one thing is clear: If not for the brave actions of Evanston and Chicago police, many more innocent lives would have been lost. My heart goes out to the victims of this senseless violence and their families. No words can repair the lasting damage done by this individual."

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The Cook County medical examiner's office has not yet identified the victims, but the University of Chicago said Fan came from China to study in the United States, and he previously earned an MS degree from the university's Financial Math program. He was in the fourth year of the Joint Program in Financial Economics and was hoping to propose his dissertation later this year. His family in China has been notified of his death, U of C said.

University representatives are in contact to offer support as Fan's family and friends mourn his death. The university will share more soon about Fan's life as well as memorial information once it is available.

"This sudden and senseless loss of life causes us indescribable sorrow. In the days ahead we will come together as a community to mourn, and to lift up fellow members of our community in this difficult and very sad time," university officials said. "Please join us in wishing consolation and healing for our student's loved ones."

Nightengale's Criminal History

ABC7 uncovered Nightengale's social media posts in the hours leading up to the deadly attacks.

ABC7 uncovered Nightengale's social media posts in the hours leading up to the deadly attacks, as well as Cook County records revealing a lengthy series of arrests and prosecutions

In one video, the 32-year-old can be heard talking about how he wanted to kill someone.

Evanston police have also shared a photo of a .45 caliber pistol Nightengale allegedly used in the course of exactly that kind of rampage.

Evanston police have shared a photo of a .45 caliber pistol Nightengale allegedly used in the course of his rampage.

For Nightengale, who worked as a security guard -- among other jobs, this wasn't his first run-in with the law.

Cook County Court records obtained by the I-Team early Sunday reveal a lengthy series of arrests and prosecutions for Nightengale beginning in 2005 for gun and drug violations, criminal trespass, theft, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reckless conduct and domestic violence.

Nightengale lived on North Artesian Avenue at the time of the first arrest 16 years ago, investigators said.

The most recent case against the man in Cook County, prior to Saturday's shooting spree, was a domestic battery lodged in October 2019.

There was a court order of protection slapped on Nightengale that he violated, according to records.

RELATED: Chicago weekend gun violence leaves at least 29 shot, 6 killed across city

The protection order appears to have expired last summer. The victim, or relationship, in the domestic case is not known.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.