A CTA customer service agent was ordered held without bail Sunday for allegedly shooting an intoxicated man who was walking away from him after an altercation at the 95th Street Red Line station. Video of the confrontation and gunfire, recorded by a witness, went viral on Saturday.
Sylvester Adams, 53, charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, allegedly told a coworker, “my life is over” moments after the shooting.
“Bullets don’t have names. They don’t have addresses,” Judge Barbara Dawkins said during the hearing, noting that the 95th Street station is one of the CTA’s busiest transportation centers.
Prosecutors said the victim, identified by NBC5 as Jeremy Begay, 37, and another man approached the CTA attendant kiosk to ask Adams and his coworker for directions and the location of an ATM around 2:13 a.m. Saturday.
Moments later, the victim and the other man got into a fight, and Adams’ coworker called the police. Officers put the other man onto the Red Line, but the victim reportedly said he was waiting for a ride and didn’t want to take the train.
After the officers left, Adams and his coworker were locked inside their enclosed kiosk as the victim, described as unarmed and “clearly intoxicated,” began threatening them from outside, prosecutors said.
More CTA customers arrived and the man “became combative” with some of them, too, according to prosecutors. That’s when Adams allegedly stepped out of the locked kiosk with a hammer in his hand and approached the victim. The men exchanged words and the victim pushed Adams to the ground.
Adams tried to hit the man with the hammer while on the ground, and the victim kicked Adams in the face before turning and walking away, prosecutors said.
Video recorded by a CTA customer who arrived during the disturbance was first posted to Twitter by the 16th & 17th District Chicago Police Scanner account early Saturday.
The CTA worker is seen getting to his feet and walking to the top of a nearby staircase that the victim had just descended. Prosecutors said he fired nine shots at the victim, who had quickened his pace down the stairs to get away from him.
Bullets struck the victim in his back, abdomen, and lower right leg. He is reportedly expected to survive.
After being shot, the victim made his way to the end of the platform and hid. CTA video shows the victim was “clearly” walking away when Adams fired, prosecutors said.
Adams allegedly returned to the kiosk after the shooting and told his coworker, “my life is over.” Prosecutors said he also admitted to shooting the victim while speaking to officers whose bodyworn cameras were activated.
A public defender said Adams has been a CTA employee for four years. He has no criminal background.
The transit agency said Saturday that it is moving to fire the employee responsible for the shooting.