Gunmen kill rapper KTS Dre in ambush outside Cook County jail

Update 8:20 p.m. — The Chicago Tribune tonight reported Sylvester suffered “as many as 64 bullet wounds.”


Gunmen shot and killed a Chicago rapper Saturday evening as he walked out of Cook County Jail where he had been held for over a year on gun charges, according to multiple sources. A 60-year-old woman who was walking with the rapper and an activist who works outside the jail to assist newly-released detainees were also shot, the sources said.

Londre Sylvester, a 31-year-old who performed as KTS Dre, was pronounced dead at Mt. Sinai Hospital shortly after the 8:50 p.m. shooting near the intersection of California and 27th streets. “KTS” stands for “Kill To Survive,” a phrase he also had tattooed on his neck along with a target symbol.

Orange evidence markers litter the shooting scene outside Cook County jail. | Provided

Public records show Sylvester was arrested April 27, 2020, on charges of being a felon in possession of a weapon and resisting police. A judge ordered him held in lieu of $50,000 bail the next day. During the same hearing, Sylvester was also held without bail on a parole violation, records show. The charges were later upgraded to Class X armed habitual criminal.

He remained in sheriff’s custody for over 400 days as of Thursday, according to online sheriff’s office records. However, that time could include days on an earlier stint of electronic monitoring. A sheriff’s office spokesperson declined to comment about the specifics of Sylvester’s custody history.

On Saturday evening, a woman posted the $5,000 deposit bond necessary for Sylvester to go home on electronic monitoring, according to a source.

As Sylvester walked from the jail, at least two gunmen emerged from different vehicles and opened fire. Sylvester was shot in the face and chest. The 60-year-old woman who accompanied him was shot in her knee. Another bullet grazed the face of a 35-year-old woman who works under a tent outside the jail to provide social services for people upon their release, the source said.

Both women were in good condition, police said.

State records show Sylvester had been sentenced to prison four times since 2010. Three of those convictions were for weapons charges.

Chicago police are leading the homicide and shooting investigation.

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