Ankle monitor: Chicago firefighter accused in road rage shooting is released after judge rejects state’s detention request

CHICAGO — A Chicago firefighter accused of attempted murder for allegedly shooting another driver in Andersonville on New Year’s Eve has been released on electronic monitoring after a Cook County judge rejected the state’s request to have him detained.

Judge Susana Ortiz called the allegations against 34-year-old Omotayo Kassim an “anomaly” as she sent him home with instructions to surrender any weapons and his firearms licenses.

The victim, identified by family members as Joseph Guiragossian, 35, is on life support with a bullet lodged in his spine. Doctors have been unable to perform surgery to remove it, according to prosecutors.

Shortly before the shooting on Monday evening, Guiragossian and Kassim, who was off-duty, simultaneously ran stop signs at an intersection, and Guiragossian’s Jeep struck the driver’s-side passenger door of Kassim’s Chevy Tahoe, officials said.

Kassim then “rammed into the back” of Guiragossian’s Jeep as Guiragossian tried to pull forward, according to a proffer of the allegations provided by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Guiragossian left the scene, and Kassim pursued him for about 10 minutes, attempting “pit moves” along the way to get Guiragossian to stop, officials said.

Some law enforcement agencies use the PIT maneuver, or “Precision Immobilization Technique,” to end traffic pursuits by using a squad car to strike the fleeing vehicle’s rear quarter-panel area, causing it to spin out.

Prosecutors said more than half of the chase was captured on a collection of surveillance videos.

Guiragossian’s car spun out after Kassim struck it in the 1600 block of West Foster. As Guiragossian tried to perform a three-point turn so he could escape, Kassim emerged from his own vehicle with a firearm, the proffer continued.

While Guiragossian had one hand on his steering wheel and the other on his gear shift, Kassim ordered him to stop moving or he would “shoot his ass,” according to prosecutors.

“Within a second of that statement,” Kassim shot Guiragossian in the jaw, the proffer stated.

Omotayo Kassim | Chicago Police Department

Kassim returned to his car, which he left rolling down the street, and parked it on Foster Avenue. His vehicle was equipped with a dashcam that recorded part of the altercation with sound.

Guiragossian’s passenger and two bystanders saw Kassim fire his gun, prosecutors said. He has a concealed carry license.

In 2015, Kassim was extradited from Chicago to Colorado to face a criminal trespassing charge, the proffer said, but that case was eventually dismissed.

He is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, and aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle.

A fire department spokesperson said he has been with CFD since 2019 and is now on administrative suspension due to the shooting allegations.

Original reporting you’ll see nowhere else, paid for by our readers. Click here to support our work.

About Tim Hecke 221 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. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com