Graffiti artist who killed another tagger in 2012 shot at a security guard after a traffic crash in South Loop, prosecutors say

Chicago — A one-time graffiti artist convicted of killing another tagger in 2012 slammed his car into a semi-truck in the South Loop last week and then opened fire on a security guard who tried to assist him, prosecutors said. Kristopher Klimala, 30, and his passenger remain hospitalized for injuries they suffered in the crash.

Around 3 a.m. Thursday, December 29, a service station’s armed security guard heard a car crash and saw a red Dodge Charger had T-boned a semi at 1000 South Desplaines. The guard rushed to the scene and saw the Charger’s passenger hanging out of the vehicle with two firearms on his lap, said Daniel Carmody, an assistant state’s attorney.

Kristopher Klimala in 2021 | Chicago Police Department

Klimala, still behind the wheel, unbuckled his seat belt, grabbed a gun from the passenger floorboard, and fired three times at the 28-year-old guard, Carmody alleged. The security officer ran for cover and called for help, but he did not return fire, officials said.

Chicago police officers found Klimala and his passenger, 24-year-old Paul Wojick, still in the vehicle. Carmody said that a loaded 9-millimeter handgun was outside the driver’s door and another gun was on Wojick’s side.

Wojick has a valid Firearm Owner’s ID card but is not licensed to carry a concealed weapon, according to Carmody. Prosecutors charged him with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He suffered a broken femur and a dislocated ankle in the crash, Carmody said.

Klimala, 30, is charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm. Judge Kelly McCarthy ordered him to pay a $25,000 deposit toward bail to be released from custody on electronic monitoring. Prosecutors intended to ask McCarthy to hold him without bail, but he was hospitalized, and Illinois law prohibits judges from holding people without bail if they are not in court through no fault of their own.

Klimala, who tagged under the name “Wicked,” was convicted in 2015 of stabbing another tagger, Linear “Chip” Caballero, to death near Armitage and Western three years earlier. Judge James Linn sentenced him to 12 years for second-degree murder.

According to Illinois Department of Corrections records, Klimala is not currently on parole. It is not clear how he satisfied a 12-year sentence with parole for a murder that occurred just under 11 years ago.

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