CHICAGO — The woman who shot a man on a Red Line train in the Loop over the weekend told Chicago police she did it because the guy was disrespectful, prosecutors said Monday.
Erica Berry, 37, was sitting alone on a northbound train when the 35-year-old man strolled over and started a conversation around 8 p.m. Saturday, prosecutor Rhianna Biernat said during Berry’s bail hearing.
Berry later told police that the man was flirting with her and that she “tried to let him down nicely,” according to Biernat, who said CTA surveillance cameras captured much of the incident.
But the man persisted by sitting down next to Berry, who nudged him away twice before he got up and sat near two other women who were facing Berry, Biernat said. The verbal back-and-forth between Berry and the man dragged on, prompting the two women to get up and move away.
Eventually, Biernat said, Berry pulled a gun from her purse and shot toward the man. Biernat said that the man didn’t move, so Berry fired another shot, then shot him again as he tried to run through the doors to the next train car.
A CTA canine security officer at the Roosevelt station heard gunshots coming from the platform and looked down the stairs just as Berry bolted up toward him. The guard followed Berry until Chicago police officers caught up with her about a block from the station.
Biernat said police found a .22 caliber revolver in Berry’s purse.
The victim underwent surgery for gunshot wounds to his left hip and right elbow.
Berry’s attorney said she may have acted in self-defense and in defense of the other women on the train. But Biernat reiterated that the victim was not armed and that there was no evidence that he touched Berry. And, Biernat noted, the victim was trying to escape to another car when Berry shot at him the third time.
Judge Barbara Dawkins agreed with Biernat’s assessment and granted the state’s motion to hold Berry without bail. She is charged with aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and reckless discharge of a firearm.
Second shooting at Roosevelt
Saturday’s victim was the second person shot at the Roosevelt CTA station this month.
On May 4, a man suffered a graze wound while struggling for control of an armed robber’s gun on the Red Line platform, officials said.
Lamont Johnson, 22, initially approached the 21-year-old victim to buy pot as they rode the Red Line around 10:50 p.m. that night, prosecutors said during Johnson’s bail on May 6. The victim initially agreed to make a deal but changed his mind when Johnson said he didn’t have money to buy it.
When the victim exited at Roosevelt, Johnson stepped in front of him, put a gun to his stomach, and demanded that he give him everything, according to prosecutors. As they struggled over the weapon, both men fell to the platform, and the victim grabbed the gun’s barrel.
During the fight, Johnson fired the gun up to four times, striking the victim once in his right shoulder, according to the allegations.
At a point when the victim was on top of Johnson, an accomplice told Johnson to “finish” the victim and then bit the victim on the back. The victim broke away and ran upstairs to get help from a CTA employee.
A CTA surveillance officer radioed descriptions of the suspects to Chicago police patrol units, and Johnson was arrested about two hours later near Printer’s Row. Prosecutors said Johnson had a gun in his backpack that was jammed with a spent casing in its chamber.
He is charged with aggravated battery by discharging a firearm and armed robbery with discharge of a firearm.