Man who fired a rifle on the McCormick Place Metra platform gets 3½ years; ‘I do stupid stuff when I drink’

The man who allegedly fired a rifle on the McCormick Place Metra platform in December 2020 has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison. Shawn Kimbrough, 42, pleaded guilty last week to one count of possessing a firearm with a revoked Firearm Owner’s ID card, according to court records.

Shawn Kimbrough in 2019 (inset) and a video grab of the shooter. | CPD; FBI

At around 10 a.m. on December 1, 2020, Kimbrough exited a Metra train at McCormick Place and was the only person on the platform when he bent over and removed a Kel-Tec SU-16 collapsible rifle from his backpack, prosecutors said during an initial bail hearing.

Metra surveillance video shows him raising a rifle to his shoulder and firing one round toward a concrete wall. Prosecutors said a group of maintenance workers was further down the rails, and a Metra janitor heard the gunfire but didn’t see who fired the shot. No injuries were reported.

The janitor later found a spent shell casing on the platform while cleaning the area and notified police.

Prosecutors said the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force initially investigated the incident but found no credible link to terrorism. The agency then released Metra’s video to media outlets.

Prosecutors said an anonymous tipster who saw the video told investigators that the gunman was Kimbrough. Metra police went to Kimbrough’s home, where they seized a gun safe, and Kimbrough’s wife identified him in surveillance images, according to prosecutors.

Kimbrough, who was in North Carolina when authorities released the video, contacted the FBI and said he “does stupid stuff” when he drinks, prosecutors alleged. Kimbrough’s father drove him back to Chicago, and Kimbrough surrendered to authorities.

After turning himself in, he handed over a key to the gun safe, and police allegedly recovered a Kel-Tec SU-16 from inside.

Prosecutors dropped five other felonies in their deal with Kimbrough, including reckless discharge of a firearm. He arrived at Stateville Correctional Center on Tuesday. Judge Adrienne Davis oversaw the case and sentenced Kimbrough.

In an earlier incident, police arrested Kimbrough on August 8, 2019, after he allegedly displayed a handgun on the corner of State and Hubbard streets in River North.

In that case, prosecutors said he walked up to a tourist, pointed toward the Marina City towers, and asked the tourist what they thought it would take to neutralize a sniper.

The tourist joked, “at least a bow and arrow.”

Kimbrough allegedly then brandished a handgun and asked if the tourist thought the weapon “would do the trick.” The tourist walked away and called the police. Officers stopped Kimbrough nearby and found a 9-millimeter handgun in his waistband, according to a CPD report.

Prosecutors initially charged Kimbrough with felony unlawful use of a weapon in the River North case. They later allowed him to plead guilty to a reduced misdemeanor violation, and the state revoked his FOID card.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com