Police Discuss Possible Motive in Fulton River District Shooting

A woman was shot Wednesday afternoon in the 200 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, when a man riding a bike drove by and fired a single shot at her before fleeing the scene

A man accused of shooting a woman as she went out on her lunch break in the Fulton River District last week often delivered food to her building and struggled to get by security, police said. 

So far, authorities searching for a motive said that has been the only connection between the gunman and the victim in what appeared to be a targeted shooting in broad daylight. But it remains only speculation, police said. 

"Only [Blackman] possesses the answer but he did have problems with the security in that building when he was a delivery driver," Chicago Police Deputy Chief Brendan Deenihan said in a press conference Monday when asked why the gunman may have targeted the woman.

The woman was shot Wednesday afternoon in the 200 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, when a man riding a bike drove by and fired a single shot at her before fleeing the scene. 

According to Deenihan, Blackman did not have any confrontations with the woman he shot, but only had ties to her building. 

"He sees these individuals leave this building and he chooses to randomly shoot this girl," Deenihan said. 

The man, who authorities identified as 45-year-old Michael Blackman, was a delivery driver for Jimmy John's, but was "terminated" in May, according to police. Jimmy John's did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Blackman is also accused in the shooting of a Chicago police officer Saturday and has been charged in connection with both incidents, authorities said. He faces five counts of attempted murder and was ordered held without bond. 

Blackman has an extensive criminal history, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, dating back to 1991, ranging from burglary to battery and criminal trespass. 

In fact, police say it was that criminal history that led to his capture. 

Surveillance images put out by authorities following the Fulton River District shooting made their way to Itasca police, who said the man in the photos looked similar to a man wanted in their area for burglary. 

That information led authorities to an area they believed Blackman was last seen.

Police went to a home in the 6500 block of South Winchester Avenue in the city's Englewood neighborhood and knocked on the door before Blackman allegedly attempted to flee. He was confronted by officers and opened fire, shooting an officer in the leg, police said. 

"[Blackman] comes back around and re-engages this officer and continues to fire at him while he’s on the ground," First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio said. "Blackman showed really what a dangerous person he was. We got really lucky at this one." 

The 48-year-old officer shot was taken in a police squad car to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. Authorities said had he not created a tourniquet and applied pressure to the area when he did, he might have succumbed to his injuries.

The shooting sparked an hours-long manhunt, with video surveillance leading detectives to a vacant lot on South Hoyne Avenue on the city's South Side where they believed Blackman was hiding.

A confrontation with police ensued at around 3:40 p.m., during which Blackman sustained multiple gunshot wounds, officials said. The suspect then fled over railroad tracks, and was apprehended by officers, according to police, who said he was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition.

"When we went to go search that lot, this defendant popped up, at which point, this is when the gun battled ensued between the defendant and the officers," Deenihan said.

Contact Us