A man charged in last month's slaying of a teacher who authorities say was the unintended victim of a gang shooting outside a real estate office has been ordered held without bond.
Dominique Hodrick, 23, faces one felony count of first-degree murder, two felony counts of first-degree attempted murder and three felony counts of aggravated battery and discharge of a firearm.
Authorities allege Hodrick, a reputed gang member, fired the shots that killed Betty Howard, a teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, as she sat in a real estate office in the city’s Chatham neighborhood.
"The defendant and that person have an ongoing disput. The defendant opened the front door, pulled a gun from his waist and fired multiple gunshots at the car," said assistant state's attorney Glendon Runk, who also said Hodrick has admitted to the crime.
Howard's family is still trying to come to grips with her death.
"It's two weeks later and it's still unreal to us. We still cannot believe she has been taken from our life. She was such a wonderful person," the victim's niece, Cristal Long said.
"She was just striving to make a living and to make ends meet, and it's just so tragic that this happened to a person who deserved to live so much," said the Rev. Major Howard, the victim's husband.
In ordering him held without bond, the judge called him a "threat to everyone."
"I think he hit home with that. He had no regard. If you can shoot a gun in broad daylight, then he is a danger to society and himself as well," Long said.
Police said they believe the shooting was sparked by a gang dispute outside the real estate office. The bullet came through the building and struck Howard in the head. Two others -- a 58-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman -- suffered graze wounds in the spray of bullets. They were treated at the scene and released.
The school honored Howard's life with a plaque and scholarship fund to help students in need. It was a gift Howard’s family called long lasting and most fitting.
In 2011, Hodrick was charged with possession of a firearm and not having a Firearms Owner ID card. The gun charge was dropped. He pleaded guilty to the FOID charge and was sentenced two years of probation, which he completed on March 4, according to court records.