A convicted felon has been arrested and charged in a shooting that took place on a Chicago Transit Agency Blue Line train near the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, police said Thursday.
Patrick Waldon, 31, of Chicago, faces charges of aggravated battery with a firearm, armed robbery with a firearm, armed habitual criminal and issuance of a warrant, authorities said, one day after the shooting took place.
Police credited witnesses on the train and the public's help in identifying the man following the shooting.
"The key point in this arrest is this is public initiated," said Interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck.
Authorities had released a photo of the suspect moments after the shooting took place, using images captured by CTA cameras.
"To those who think they can commit crime on @cta, think again. You're on camera and you will be caught," Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted.
In less than 24 hours of the shooting, police said they had identified a suspect.
"We got multiple calls from the public ID'ing this individual and then we had great cooperation from witnesses at the scene who also identified him," Beck said.
"This is the key to solving crime, particularly violent crime," he added.
Authorities said the shooting took place Wednesday morning on a train near the UIC-Halsted station on the city's Near West Side.
Paramedics responded to the shooting at about 10:45 a.m. in the 400 block of South Halsted Street and took a male to Stroger Hospital in serious condition, Chicago fire officials said.
According to police, there was an exchange of words between the alleged gunman and the victim, and investigators believed that the shooting was targeted.
"These subjects were on that train together, and appeared to have some conversation as the victim was about to exit," Chicago Police Patrol Chief Fred Waller said. "The offender pulled on his backpack and exchanged words with the other man. When the victim attempted to pull away from the offender, he was shot in the back."
After the victim fell to the ground, the gunman took the victim's bag and fled, police said.
The attack occurred just one day after a street performer was stabbed on the Red Line platform at Jackson.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, in remarks made last week, said that she is in constant contact with the CTA about potential issues with violence on its platforms and property.
"We're going to fundamentally turn that around," she said of violence numbers on CTA property. "The public transit system has to be safe, and I'm committed to doing just that."
The alleged gunman has a "long criminal history" and is a convicted felon.
"He has been preying on the people of Chicago for years," Beck said.
Police said the victim in the shooting was coherent and cooperative in the investigation.
"He’s very happy that he’s alive today," Chicago Police Deputy Chief Brendan Deenihan said.