CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois State Police are investigating another fatal shooting on the Eisenhower Expressway, less than seven hours after a man was killed and a woman was critically wounded when they were shot on the Eisenhower less than a mile away.
The latest shooting happened just before noon in the eastbound lanes of the Eisenhower near the Central Avenue exit, according to Illinois State Police. A male passenger was wounded.
Police said the woman drove the victim to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where he was pronounced dead. The driver was not injured.
The man’s family identified him as Devon Almon.
Illinois State police said it was the 41st shooting on a Chicago area expressway this year. There were 39 expressway shootings in the Chicago area in all of 2015.
Relatives said Johnathon Ortiz and Alexis Garcia, both 22, were on their way to get a bite to eat when someone began shooting at them on the Eisenhower Expressway. Police said someone fired shots into their SUV near Laramie Avenue. Ortiz was able to drive off the expressway and stop the SUV just past the Laramie exit ramp.
Ortiz and Garcia were taken to Stroger Hospital, where Ortiz later was pronounced dead. Garcia was in critical condition.
Gov. Bruce Rauner said the shootings were “unfortunate,” and said he believes Illinois State Police are doing an “outstanding job” responding to expressway shootings.
“The fact is the shootings are so high in Chicago right now, it’s only natural that they would spill over. There are a lot of incidents where people are coming on and off ramps that were having interactions at a gas station, or some local store, and then the event spills over onto the expressway,” he said.
Ortiz was an aspiring rapper who went by the name “John D.O.E.” and his girlfriend was an aspiring singer. Ortiz’s brothers said he recently performed at the House of Blues, and had a gig at the United Center next week.
Family members said they believe the couple was traveling to get a bite to eat when someone began shooting at them on the Eisenhower Expressway. Ortiz was driving, and took the brunt of the gunshots. He was able to maneuver the SUV off the expressway at the Laramie Avenue exit.
The rapper’s family said he was wrongly targeted.
“It had to be a mistake. I mean, there was nothing that John has done or does in his day to day that points to something ,” his uncle Frank Robles said.
Ortiz’s brother, Rey Rivera, said he was a young man whose passion has been to make it in the music industry since he graduated high school.
“From graduation, he was focused on his music career. You know, never had any animosity with anybody. It seems like it was mistaken identity,” Rivera said.
Ortiz’s family said all he wanted was to be a star, and that he had dreams of making it to Los Angeles someday.