Shooting Closes Outbound Kennedy for More Than Two Hours During Morning Rush

Major traffic delays were reported during rush hour Monday morning after a shooting shut down the outbound Kennedy Expressway in Chicago for more than two hours.

Illinois State Police said the shooting happened just before 5:30 a.m. on Interstate 90 near Sayre Avenue. Outbound lanes on the expressway were blocked from the Edens Junction to Sayre Avenue until just before 7:45 a.m. while traffic was diverted onto the Edens Expressway.

No injuries were reported, but delays were expected as police continued their investigation. The vehicle that was hit in the shooting was a white Toyota Camry, police said. State police are searching for a blue Chevrolet SUV in connection with the shooting. Officials said a motive wasn't immediately clear. 

Monday’s shooting brings the total number of expressway shootings this year to 26, a figure that is much higher than the previous two years.

"It is a spike," Captain David Byrd with the Illinois State Police said. "We've added extra patrols in midnight hours."

Officials say the shootings typically happen between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m.

"Unfortunately a rush hour shooting, there's not much more we could be doing," Byrd said.

The number of shootings this year has already surpassed the total number of expressway shootings from 2014. Illinois State Police data showed that only 18 shootings were reported in 2014 and 16 were reported in 2013.

From shootings on the Dan Ryan, Eisenhower, Bishop Ford and beyond – police say about two dozen people have been injured in similar incidents since January 2014.

“People are very angry and frustrated and they take their anger out on innocent [drivers],” one Chicago motorist, Miles Vachula, told NBC Chicago.

Officials have not said whether there is a suspected cause for the rise in expressway shootings, but noted that many appear to be gang-related.

To tackle the problem, a police spokeswoman says as many as 30 extra troopers are assigned to sporadic 24-hour details on Chicago’s expressways. 

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