#22: Man charged with attempted murder of CTA bus driver was AWOL in felony DUI case, prosecutors say

Fred White | CPD

Prosecutors say a man who opened fire on a CTA bus driver this week after being told to wear a mask was AWOL in a felony aggravated DUI case at the time. He is the 22nd person to be accused of killing, shooting, or trying to shoot someone in Chicago this year while on bond for another felony, according to records maintained by CWBChicago.

Judge Arthur Willis ordered Fred White, 37, held without bail on a warrant in the DUI case and held without bail on new charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and possessing a firearm with a defaced serial number.

The bus driver told White to put on a mask as soon as he stepped aboard in the West Pullman neighborhood around 10:34 p.m. Tuesday, Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said during a bond court hearing Thursday.

After some back-and-forth, the 41-year-old female driver stopped the bus and told White to get off because he would not put his mask on properly, Deboni said.

“B*tch, I’ll blow your f*cking head off,” White allegedly said as he stepped off the bus.

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Moments after the driver closed the doors behind White, three shots were fired nearby, Deboni said. Two bullets went through the bus’ front door, he said. The third bullet missed the bus completely. Neither the driver nor her lone passenger was injured.

The shots triggered a ShotSpotter alert that brought police to the scene, according to Deboni. The officers found three casings and took White into custody. They also recovered a defaced handgun that he tossed over a fence as officers approached, Deboni said.

Surveillance video allegedly showed White was the only person outside the bus when shots were fired. But White’s public defender, who said he has eight children, argued the bullets that slammed through the bus door could have come from anywhere.

“There are massive amounts of shootings around the city every day,” the attorney told Willis. Even if White threatened to blow the driver’s head off, that doesn’t mean he fired a gun, she said.

Willis was not persuaded.

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