$50K reward offered in Chicago postal worker shooting; letter carriers 'terrified' by violence, union says

Leah Hope Image
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Chicago USPS letter carrier shot
Chicago USPS letter carrier shot

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A $50,000 reward is being offered for information after a postal worker was shot Thursday morning in Chicago's South Side Burnside neighborhood.

The 24-year-old woman, who works as a United States Postal Service mail carrier, was shot at 91st Street and Ellis Avenue just after 11:35 a.m. while on the job.

Chicago Fire Department officials said she was critically hurt after being shot multiple times.

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She did not appear to be the intended target, Chicago police said. The alleged shooters were driving by at a high rate of speed when the shots were fired.

Calls, texts and messages came in to the National Association of Letter Carriers union hall Friday.

A U.S. Postal Service carrier was critically hurt Thursday morning in a Burnside shooting.

"We are relieved she's in stable condition," said Mack Julion, Branch 11 union president. "We are pulling for her. We are praying for her."

Julion said the letter carrier remains hospitalized after she was shot during the day while walking her route in the 9100 Block of south Ellis

"It's devastating to hear," said Spencer Block, with the US Postal Inspection Service in Chicago. "We've been working around the clock to solve this investigation,"

In March, another Chicago letter carrier was shot while delivering mail in Brighton Park. He was caught in gang crossfire and told ABC7 he feels fortunate he was not more seriously injured from a shot to the back of his head.

After Thursday's shooting, he said he wants to see things change. He shared his perspective with ABC7, but did not wish to be identified by name.

"It was devastating," he said. "My heart goes out to her and her family. It brought back a lot of bad memories... I hope people realize we are only human and we are doing the best we can and pray for us."

"I would say a lot of our members are terrified," Julion said. "They are terrified this random violence, it can happen to them, too."

As two carriers recover from gunshot wounds and with two investigations ongoing to find the suspects, thousands of letter carriers reported to work in Chicago and walked their routes.

A U.S. Postal Service carrier was critically hurt Thursday morning in a Burnside shooting.

"About a month ago, I introduced myself to her. I told her where I stayed at," Delois Dean said. "This is where my mail would come to, just to let her know because I was looking for the last mail carrier. She was just adorable. Just did her job."

Isis Edmond is a fellow postal worker who rushed to the scene in the aftermath to check on a family member who lives in the area. After seven years on the job, she said being a postal carrier in the city is a dangerous job.

"You pray. Pray that God protects you," Edmond said. "But you try to be aware of your surroundings, just look out, but sometimes, in her case, you can't see everything."

She said the risks are so high, there's even a procedure for it.

"I've been delivering mail and gunshots rung out. I've had to run to my truck and stay in my truck until everything deescalated," Edmond said. "Contact 911 of course. Contact my supervisor to tell them what's going on. Then leave the area. That's the process."

Dean decried just how dangerous the neighborhood has become.

"August 6th, my husband and I were driving and we made a right turn on the corner over there. Our car got shot up 22 times with us in it," Dean said. "It's just horrible we need to live like this with our children. It has affected me totally and my family. We're looking to move. But I still have family over here."