Road rage shooting suspect is found in Florida, extradited to Chicago, and quickly set free by a judge

CHICAGO — More than a year after a judge signed an arrest warrant for a man wanted in connection with a road rage shooting on a Chicago expressway, an FBI task force arrested him in Florida. The Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department extradited him to Chicago. During his first court appearance, a Cook County judge rejected the state’s detention petition and released him again.

So goes the story of Darrius Wilson, the 32-year-old man officials say shot up another driver’s car after becoming angry while driving on December 14, 2022.

The victim, 41, was heading to work around 11:30 p.m. when a sporty black car almost struck him as he turned from 87th Street to State Street, according to an Illinois State Police case report. He honked to get the other driver’s attention and headed onto the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway.

As he approached 71st Street, he saw the black car “aggressively driving to catch up to him,” the report said. It pulled up on his passenger side, and he heard two pops that sounded like gunshots, he said. The black car exited at Marquette Road.

When he arrived at work, he discovered two “bullet defects” in his rear passenger door, according to the report. That’s when he called the police.

ISP investigators used license plate reader data and surveillance cameras to identify the vehicle as Wilson’s 2021 Dodge Challenger, prosecutors said in notes submitted to the court.

They found surveillance footage of Wilson, who uses a wheelchair, getting into the car with the assistance of another person about eight minutes before the shooting. The assistant put Wilson’s wheelchair into the trunk, and Wilson drove away alone, officials said.

Wilson, charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, has been convicted of firearms-related crimes four times, prosecutors said.

Darrius Wilson | Illinois State Police

Police arrested Wilson two days after the shooting, but he declined to answer any questions and was released, according to court records. About 11 days after that, a judge signed an arrest warrant valid locally and in surrounding counties. Then, on July 31, another judge signed a nationwide arrest warrant for him.

According to an ISP press release, the FBI Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force found him in Ruskin, Florida, south of Tampa. Cook County officials flew him back to Chicago and brought him before Judge David Kelly for a detention hearing.

After hearing from prosecutors and Wilson’s attorney, Kelly refused to keep Wilson in custody. He also didn’t put him on the sheriff’s electronic monitoring program. Instead, he sent him home with orders to stay in the house at night.

He’s due in court again on January 26.

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