CHICAGO (CBS) — Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, and just in time, we’re tracking another shooting on Chicago-area freeways.
This latest shooting incidenton the Eisenhower Expressway in weeks. CBS 2’s Tara Molina brought the latest developments to the experts.
The shooting happened around 9:20 p.m. Sunday at the entrance to Eisenhower near Western Avenue. Shots were fired from a vehicle, but no injuries were reported.
The eastbound lanes of the freeway were closed after the shooting, but all reopened at 1 a.m. Monday.
The shots left shell casings in the road and bullet holes in a black Dodge Charger. It was the third time we had seen such a scene at the Eisenhower in the last two weeks: the previous two incidents occurred..
By the light of day on Monday, the Eisenhower had returned to normal. But we’re a long way from normal, according to DePaul University professor and transportation expert Joe Schwieterman.
“The frequency of these shootings is really what alarms people,” Schwieterman said. “We’re seeing a pattern here, and it’s starting to affect decisions, how people drive, when they come to town. All of that weighs on our economy, our people.”
We learned that there are 319Rolling down the Chicago freeways right now. An Illinois State Police spokesman said license plate readers are helping investigations of shootings like the recent ones at the Eisenhower, but Schwieterman said more help may be needed.
“I think technology is going to have to help us solve this problem, because now we are seeing escalation again after we thought maybe we had the problem under control,” he said.
We’ve tracked 45 freeway shootings in the Chicago area so far this year.
According to the Illinois State Police, just over 43 percent of those shootings involved injuries: injured people.
Last year, we saw 68 in the same time frame, so we’re in a better position.
But this year, Schwieterman says the three recent shootings need to be taken seriously, and not just by police.
“It’s a holiday weekend. People are trying to have fun,” he said. “The fact that they have to be aware of the risks of being on the highway not only due to traffic accidents, but also due to shootings, it really damages the image of our city, it damages the morale of people who are trying to get on with their lives. The new mayor will have to make this a priority, because people are demanding solutions.”
As of Monday night, state police did not have an update on how many shootings this year have resulted in arrests. At our last check, there were only five, for all of 2023 to date.
“This chronic problem of highway shootings? Something Chicago has to deal with,” Schwieterman said. “The disturbing part is that it’s hard to track down the perpetrators. The frustration level is really growing.”