Monday's shooting of an infant on the Bishop Ford Freeway on Chicago's South Side was the 65th expressway shooting in the Chicago area this year. That number stands in stark contrast to the 52 that were recorded in all of 2019.
Numbers provided by the Illinois State Police show that no expressway in the city is immune to the mayhem. While the Dan Ryan has more than a third of all shootings, at 28, I-57 has posted another 14. There have been nine on the Eisenhower, five on the Stevenson, three on the Kennedy and I-80, and one apiece on the Edens, Bishop Ford and Illinois 394.
The Dan Ryan and I-57 together account for over half of the shootings over the last two years.
Traffic was sparse on Chicago-area roadways during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order in Illinois. But that didn't stop the violence. During that period, the Chicago expressways saw a staggering 29 shootings.
Just one month, July, tells a frightening story. In 2019, there were four shootings on Chicago-area expressways. This year, with four days still left in the month, there have been 14.
Illinois State Police say they have increased staffing on the Dan Ryan by one officer for each shift. In addition, the ISP says it has other ongoing initiatives to combat expressway violence, including saturation teams on all area roadways.
In a statement, the agency noted that because Chicago roadways are packed with a commuting population, expressway shootings present unique challenges due to a lack of witnesses. Investigators say it is especially important for witnesses to contact law enforcement, even if it is after the fact.
Anyone with information on the latest shooting is asked to call the Illinois State Police at 847-294-4400.