CTA shooting raises concern


Mike Rundle

Police respond to a shooting at the Jackson CTA station Dec. 6. Chicago Police Officers occupied State Street between Van Buren Street and Jackson Boulevard.

By Olivia Deloian

This article has been updated to include interviews from a student and campus security.

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 6, a man was shot at the Jackson Red Line stop, according to Fred Waller, Chief of Patrol of the Chicago Police Department.

A male offender wearing a surgical mask approached the victim who was standing in the tunnel where the Red Line and Blue Lines intersect, and shot at the victim two times, hitting the male victim once in the side, Waller said.

The offender continued west-bound through the tunnel, either escaping through one of the stops or catching another train, police said.

The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition, and Waller said it is likely the victim was targeted due to how close in proximity they were to each other.

It is also likely the victim knew the shooter, due to  his lack of cooperation with CPD, Waller said.

Waller said although it was rush hour during the time of the shooting, no other people were injured when trying to escape the hysteria.

“ We deploy officers from this location each and every day. so the officers were not far and they came to the aid of the victim and started gathering the witnesses,” Waller said. 

 Sophomore audio production and design major Austin Burkholder was on the Red Line at the time of the shooting.

 “It makes you realize how unpredictable life and the world around us is,” Burkholder said. “It can happen any place, any time. You have no control of it so it makes you realize you need to be more careful and aware of your surroundings when you’re out in public.”

 He said Columbia should send more frequent alerts via text message to students when something like this happens instead of just an email.

This is not the first time an alert was not sent about a shooting at the Jackson Station. In August 2017, a 23-year-old man was shot twice at the Jackson Red Line station at about 7:45 p.m. Aug. 17. 

The Chronicle reported Sept. 5, 2017 that a collegewide notification was not sent by the Safety and Security Office about the shooting because it occurred off campus and did not pose an immediate threat to the Columbia community, according to Virginia Zic-Schlomas, director of Investigative Services in the Office of Safety and Security.

Two former Chronicle employees were present at the Aug. 17 shooting.

On-campus locations are defined by the 1990 Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, created to allow students and staff access to information about campus crime at universities across the country, as reported by The Chronicle. 

Columbia Security Officer Eduardo Lopez said students should try to remain aware of their surroundings at all times, especially while riding theCTA. 

 “If you are going somewhere late at night, try to get a ride there, or don’t go alone,” Lopez said.

He also said passengers should never feel afraid to tell a train conductor or CTA employee if they feel unsafe.

Trains were back up and running Thursday evening, Waller said, but the tunnel remained closed as police continued on withtheir investigation.

“We don’t have much, we’re still looking at the videos to get the right person,” Waller said. “We know that he walked away with the surgical mask on, but other than that the victim is not cooperating.”