After two people were killed and one person injured in two separate shootings on the Eisenhower Expressway Thursday, a vocal area official is calling the shootings "an act of terrorism."
Cook County Commission Richard Boykin, in a statement Thursday afternoon, called on the federal government to step in, urging Congress to amend the federal terrorism statute to classify gang violence as a form of domestic terrorism.
"There can be no mistaking the fact that what took place on the Eisenhower Expressway today was an act of terrorism, and that the commuters who will traverse those roads on their way home this evening will do so at considerable risk," the statement read. "If our local and state leaders will not take immediate steps to mitigate these unacceptable conditions, our federal leaders must. I urge the Congress and the President of the United States to act immediately to amend the federal domestic terrorism laws in order to create access to our vast federal Homeland Security infrastructure and fight this war with the resources we need to win it.”
While police have not determined if the two victims were targeted in the shootings Thursday, and an investigation has not yet ruled whether gang violence was involved, Boykin questioned "how much longer can the citizens of Chicago expect to be terrorized."
"The Eisenhower Expressway runs straight through the heart of the District I represent on the Cook County Board of Commissioners," he said. "I am tired of having to field questions from my constituents about why their local and state governments have abandoned them to face these dangers without a significantly increased law enforcement presence."
The first shooting took place just before 6 a.m. Thursday, when ISP officers said shots were fired in the westbound lanes of Interstate 290 near Laramie Avenue.
Two people, a man and a woman, riding in a white SUV were shot, according to police. The victims were found by police at Flournoy Street and Lockwood Avenue in Chicago and both were transported to Stroger Hospital.
The man was pronounced dead and the woman was listed in critical condition.
Less than seven hours later, around 12:15 p.m., police responded to another shooting in the eastbound lanes of the expressway near the Central Avenue exit ramp.
The shootings caused massive delays during the morning rush hour and closed the Central Avenue exit ramp during the afternoon hours as officials investigated.
"The safety of the citizens of Illinois and reducing expressway violence is paramount to the Illinois State Police," ISP said in a statement. "Every day our troopers work to prevent violence, arresting dangerous criminals, and removing illegal drugs and guns from the expressways and our communities. We have conducted numerous enforcement details specifically directed at gun, gang, and drug violence, including a successful detail this past weekend and the recent arrest of two individuals for an expressway shooting which occurred on September 25th. We have recently attended listening tour meetings with Commissioner Boykin, in the communities most impacted by violence. We are working with the Commissioner, the Chicago Police Department, The Cook County Sheriff?s Police and our Federal partners to help to reduce violent crime on the streets throughout Illinois."