Chicago woman randomly stabbed 4 people while on bail for randomly stabbing a woman in Bucktown, prosecutors say

Chicago — A woman on bail for allegedly stabbing a stranger at random in Bucktown last year is now accused of stabbing four more people at random this month on the Northwest Side. Prosecutors said two of the alleged victims were eating at McDonald’s with their grandchildren when they were attacked.

Last summer, prosecutors charged Shaynella Williams with slashing a woman who was walking home from the beach on June 18. The victim told police she was in the 1700 block of West North Avenue when Williams parked a red Kia across the street, crossed over, and bumped into her while making a swiping motion.

Prosecutors said Williams returned to her car and drove away without saying anything. A witness called 911 for the victim, who was treated for a slash wound on her arm with 13 stitches.

Shaynella Williams | Chicago Police Department

Police tracked Williams down through the license plate on her car. Williams paid a $2,000 bail deposit to get out of jail to await trial. The case is still pending.

Williams was back in court on Monday to face five new felony battery charges stemming from a series of alleged attacks on the afternoon of January 8.

In the first case, two senior citizens were eating lunch with their four grandchildren at McDonald’s, 2317 North Cicero, when Williams pulled into the parking lot in her red Kia, prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt said.

Williams allegedly walked into the restaurant, saw the family dining near the entrance, and jabbed a knife into one of the grandparents’ backs, then stabbed the other grandparent on the top of the head.

Customers took pictures of Williams as she fled in her red Kia, and police later determined that her phone pinged in the area at the time of the attack, according to Dale-Schmidt.

About 20 minutes later, Williams allegedly pulled over in the 5300 block of West Lawrence and stabbed a woman in the leg as the victim carried a large plant down the street.

That victim told police she saw Williams holding a knife with an ivory handle and a blade roughly 3 inches long. Doctors closed up the woman’s injury with three staples.

Moments later, Williams made a U-turn in the 4500 block of North Milwaukee, parked next to a woman on the sidewalk, and stabbed the woman in her back, Dale-Schmidt said. Once again, Williams returned to her Kia and drove away.

Most of the incidents were recorded by surveillance cameras, according to Dale-Schmidt.

Chicago police arrested Williams on Saturday. They said she had an ivory-handled knife with a three- or four-inch blade when they took her into custody.

Williams’ public defender said she is a licensed practical nurse who works part-time in nursing services. She lives with her mother and two children, ages 14 and 17.

Prosecutors charged her with two counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to victims over the age of 60 and three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Judge Kelly McCarthy, the same judge who set bail for Williams last year, ordered her to pay $20,000 to get out of jail this time. Williams must go on electronic monitoring if she goes home, McCarthy said.

McCarthy also held Williams without bail until the judge overseeing last year’s case reviews the new allegations.

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About Tim Hecke 5787 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at