Shawn Kimbrough told authorities he “does stupid stuff when he drinks” before he was arrested for firing a collapsible rifle on a Metra train platform at McCormick Place, Cook County prosecutors said.
No one was injured in the Dec. 1 incident but the 40-year-old’s alleged actions were more than stupid, Judge Mary Marubio suggested Tuesday.
“This was a very deliberate discharge,” Marubio said before ordering Kimbrough held on $500,000 bail for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a firearm without a FOID card and reckless discharge of a firearm.
“This rifle had to be removed from a bag, assembled, readied, aimed, pointed, fired, disassembled and placed back into the backpack.”
Before the shooting, a Metra conductor told Kimbrough that he would have to get off the southbound train when he unable to pay his fare, prosecutors said.
While waiting in the vestibule, Kimbrough allegedly told another passenger that he had a gun in his backpack, but the passenger — who said Kimbrough appeared intoxicated — didn’t believe him, prosecutors said.
Surveillance video captured Kimbrough exit at the McCormick Place Station where he is immediately seen assembling a Kel-Tec SU-16 rifle on the empty platform, prosecutors said.
He then allegedly fired the weapon once across tracks at a high concrete wall.
A Metra janitor who heard the gunfire found Kimbrough fumbling with his backpack and and going up the platform stairs. When the janitor asked Kimbrough if he heard the same noise, Kimbrough said he did and pointed down the platform near other Metra employees, prosecutors said.
Kimbrough left the station and as he was walking away, the janitor noticed a shell casing on the platform and called police, prosecutors said.
A tipster identified Kimbrough as the gunman last week after authorities publicized video and photos of the shooting, prosecutors said. Kimbrough’s wife also identified him as the gunman in a surveillance photo when investigators came to the couple’s home, prosecutors said.
Later, when authorities reached Kimbrough by phone, he allegedly told them he knew they were looking for him, wanted to turn himself and didn’t want police to break his safe. That’s when he confessed “he does stupid stuff when he drinks,” prosecutors said.
Kimbrough, accompanied by his lawyer, surrendered Monday, and provided Metra police with the key to his safe where the rifle was found.
Kimbrough, of Chicago, often travels to Homewood to take care of his grandfather, his lawyer said in court Tuesday. The defense attorney argued that Kimbrough didn’t intend to shoot anybody, and was unaware that authorities were looking for him after he traveled to the East Coast to take care of his father.
Kimbrough’s FOID card was revoked after he was arrested in 2019 for an unauthorized use of a weapon charge, prosecutors said. In that case, Kimbrough was on a downtown street when he asked a tourist what it would take “to take out a sniper” while pointing to the Marina City building, prosecutors said. The person, trying not to upset Kimbrough, allegedly replied “at least a bow and arrow.” Kimbrough then took out a 9mm pistol from his waistband, and asked the person if “they think the gun would do the trick.”
Police were called and arrested Kimbrough, who was later convicted on a misdemeanor gun charge.
If Kimbrough is able to post bond, Marubio recommended that he be placed on electronic monitoring.
“Whether or not this is fueled by alcohol, it’s still unclear,” the judge said. “But here’s what is clear: The time of day, the place, the type of weapon, the motive and the ability to flee. These are all factors for me to determine that you pose a danger to the community and that you’re a risk of failing to appear [for court hearings].”
Kimbrough is expected back in court Dec. 23.