Tagger gets 12 years for shooting at security guard who tried to help him after South Loop traffic crash (He was convicted of murder once before)

CHICAGO — A former “graffiti artist” convicted of killing another tagger in 2012 was sent to prison again this week after pleading guilty to shooting at a security guard in the South Loop.

Kristopher Klimala, 31, plowed his car into a semi-truck in the 1000 South Desplaines and then opened fire on the guard who tried to assist him, prosecutors said. Klimala and his passenger remained hospitalized for days after the crash. The security guard was not injured.

Around 3 a.m. on December 29, 2022, a service station’s armed security officer heard the crash and saw that a red Dodge Charger had T-boned a tractor-trailer nearby. The guard rushed to the scene and saw the Charger’s passenger hanging out of the vehicle with two firearms on his lap, prosecutors said.

Klimala, still behind the wheel, unbuckled his seat belt, grabbed a gun from the passenger floorboard, and fired three times at the 28-year-old guard, prosecutors alleged. The security officer reportedly ran for cover and called for help, but he did not return fire.

Chicago police officers found Klimala and his passenger, 24-year-old Paul Wojick, still in the vehicle. Prosecutors said that a loaded 9-millimeter handgun was outside the driver’s door, and another gun was on Wojick’s side. Wojick, who suffered a broken femur and dislocated ankle in the crash, had a valid Firearm Owner’s ID card.

Kristopher Klimala in 2021 (Chicago Police Department, PickPik)

Prosecutors charged Klimala with two counts of attempted murder and four other felonies. In a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty on January 26 to aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle. Judge Alfredo Maldonado handed him the 12-year sentence. He will receive 393 days of credit for the time he spent in jail and on electronic monitoring since his arrest.

Klimala, who tagged under the name “Wicked,” was convicted in 2015 of second-degree murder for the fatal stabbing of another tagger, Linear “Chip” Caballero, near Armitage and Western. Judge James Linn sentenced him to 12 years for second-degree murder.

Wojick, the passenger, pleaded guilty to a felony weapons violation in October in exchange for two years of “first-time weapon offender probation” and 50 hours of community service from Maldonado, according to court records. The charge will be dismissed if he successfully completes probation.

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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