Driver fleeing road rage gunfire struck, killed pedestrian on South Side, prosecutors say

CHICAGO — A pedestrian was killed when a driver who was trying to escape gunfire during a road rage incident ran a red light and struck him in a South Side intersection, prosecutors said.

Eugene Harrell, the 33-year-old concealed carry license holder accused of firing at the driver, has been detained to await trial by Judge Susana Ortiz. While the confrontation and crash occurred more than a year ago, prosecutors did not file charges until this month.

Prosecutors told Ortiz that the trouble began when Harrell and a 27-year-old man were involved in a traffic crash on Michigan Avenue between 107th and 111th streets around 3:15 p.m. on October 18, 2022.

Harrell allegedly chased the other driver and fired two shots toward his car in the 11000 block of South Martin Luther King Drive.

Hoping to get away from Harrell, the other driver accelerated his Dodge Charger and ran a red light at 103rd Street, sideswiping a CTA bus and striking 22-year-old Chris Homes, who was crossing the street, according to officials.

The impact sent Homes “flying into the intersection,” and he died from his injuries, prosecutors said in a detention petition.

After the crash, the other driver saw Harrell walking toward him with a gun in his hand, prosecutors continued. He got out of the Charger and fled in a passing taxi. Harrell allegedly ran past the fallen pedestrian and fired another shot toward the cab as it drove away.

Eugene Harrell | Chicago Police Department

Prosecutors said Harrell removed the keys and insurance information from the Charger and drove to a police station to report the crash. Cops noticed a bulge in his waistband as they were speaking with him, and Harrell admitted that it was a gun, which he surrendered to the officers, officials said.

When officers noted that three bullets were missing from the firearm, Harrell claimed he tried to shoot the tires out of the Charger because he thought the other driver was trying to get away, prosecutors alleged.

Ballistics tests confirmed that three shell casings recovered from the two shooting scenes came from the gun Harrell surrendered to police, officials claim.

Police said they recovered a pistol, an AR-15 rifle, and six loaded 30-round ammunition magazines from Harrell’s home when they arrested him last week. They found the weapons after Harrell told them where they were stored.

Prosecutors charged him with aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, and two misdemeanor firearm violations.

He’s due in court again on November 21.

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