‘Person Of Interest' Surrenders In CTA Bus Shooting

Wardlaw: I Don't Have A Gun

A man sought in connection with the Sunday night shooting of a 17-year-old high school student on a CTA bus was in police custody Wednesday.

The man, identified as 24-year-old Milton Wardlaw,surrendered to police on Wednesday afternoon, only a day after his family made public pleas for him to meet them at a South Side church.

Mom Patricia Wilson and her family knew police wanted to interview her son about the Sunday night shooting death of Kiyanna Salter, a Julian  High School student.

NBC5's Natalie Martinez reported that Wardlaw said a man he'd seen on the No. 71 bus, and started a petty argument with him. Afterward, Wardlaw said, he bumped into the man.

Police said they knew about the fight, but weren't aware of the details until now.

"He basically escorted me off the bus with the gun. This should also be on camera. He escorted me off the bus with the gun –– like, 'Man, get off the bus,'" Wardlaw said. 

"I'm like, 'Man, just don't shoot me in my back.' I'm telling him, 'Just don't shoot me, please don't shoot me' He, like, cussed at me, 'Then f--in' run!' Then, I took off running. I heard shots (behind me). I kept on running." 

Wardlaw said he didn't have a gun, and after the interview, police took him into custody for questioning.

He has not been charged as of Wednesday evening.

Wilson and family members waited all day Tuesday for him to surrender at the Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church, where they had sought counsel with the Rev. Vesta Dixon.

Dixon said Wilson has not said that her son shot Salter, who was aboard the bus in the Grand Crossing neighborhood Sunday evening when a gunman opened fire into the bus after a minor dispute on the bus with another passenger.

Wardlaw said he didn't know Salter had been hit, and felt horribly for Salter's family, Martinez reported.

After Chicago Police released footage of the suspect Monday night, Wilson recognized the man on the bus as her son. So she contacted Dixon, who counseled her through the tough decision to make a public plea for her son to come into the church.

“Just pray with them and encourage them to hold on," was how Dixon described her counseling. “She [Salter] knew she didn’t want her son killed. She knew they were going to say he was armed and dangerous.”

Dixon said the family feared either a shoot-out with police or that someone in Chicago would take the law in their own hands.

Detectives were already closing in on Wilson’s son when the family recognized him.

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