A Chicago firefighter has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting and gravely wounding another driver in Andersonville on New Year’s Eve.
Omatayo Kassim, 34, will appear for a detention hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Wednesday, according to a media statement from the Chicago Police Department.
Kassim has been a Chicago firefighter and EMT since 2019, but he is now on administrative suspension in light of the allegations, a fire department spokesperson said Tuesday night.
The victim, 35, remains hospitalized with a bullet lodged in his neck near the spinal cord, according to a source familiar with the situation.
As we reported on Monday, a Chicago Police Department report secured by CWBChicago said the victim was traveling at a high speed on Foster when he tried to turn onto northbound Clark Street around 7:50 p.m. on December 31.
The report said that his excessive speed caused his Jeep to slam head-on into a car facing south on Clark, waiting for the red light to change. He backed up and fled the scene.
Witnesses told police a white Chevy Tahoe was chasing the Jeep at the time of the crash. According to a second CPD report we reviewed, Kassim was the Tahoe’s driver.
As the victim sped from the crash scene, Kassim continued to pursue it. Kassim rammed the Jeep with his SUV “multiple times in the rear in an attempt to PIT maneuver” the Jeep, one of the police reports said.
A “PIT maneuver” is a tactic some law enforcement agencies use to disable vehicles that are trying to evade law enforcement.
The victim tried to get away from Kassim by performing a three-point turn in the middle of Foster Avenue, striking two unoccupied parked cars in the process, one of the police reports said.
That’s when Kassim shot the other driver, an officer wrote in one of the police reports.
Cops arrested Kassim at the scene and confiscated his firearm, officials said.
In addition to attempted first-degree murder, prosecutors charged Kassim with aggravated battery by discharging a firearm.
CWBChicago will post an updated story with any new details revealed during Kassim’s court appearance.