10-time felon who killed security guard was on parole and has been wanted for attempted murder since 2022: officials

Rodgerick O’Neal and Loyce Wright (IDOC, National Gun Violence Memorial)

CHICAGO — A Cook County judge signed an arrest warrant for Rodgerick O’Neal in February 2022 after investigators identified him as the person who shot at two gas station employees in the Chicago suburbs.

But, despite the fact that he was on parole for shooting someone else, authorities didn’t apprehend O’Neal until last month, when, officials say, he shot and killed a former co-worker and tried to kill two Chicago cops.

A ten-time convicted felon, O’Neal, 36, was paroled in October 2020 after serving 85% of a ten-year sentence he received for aggravated battery with a firearm, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

Less than 18 months later, on March 4, 2022, officials secured a warrant for his arrest on two counts of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm.

Paperwork filed in support of the warrant said O’Neal fired eight rounds at two Thornton’s gas station employees in Forest Park after threatening to kill them. The clerks were not injured, but the bullets hit near them as they stood behind the counter, the filings said.

For almost exactly two years, that arrest warrant remained active, and O’Neal remained on the streets. He stopped reporting for parole meetings, and the state put him in “absconder” status.

On February 23, O’Neal went to the Family Dollar store in the 5400 block of West Chicago Avenue. He used to work there, officials say, and he got into an argument with Loyce Wright, the store’s security guard. They had been co-workers.

O’Neal shot Wright with a rifle, killing him, prosecutors say. Afterward, he told his girlfriend he killed Wright, and “multiple” individuals told police they saw O’Neal with a rifle before and during the shooting, prosecutors said in a detention petition.

Chicago police tracked him down in Dolton the next day. He shot at them, according to prosecutors. The bullets missed. O’Neal did, however, physically attack officers who arrested him, biting one, punching another in the face and head, and spitting in the face and eye of another, a CPD report said.

Prosecutors filed a new set of charges: two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder of police officers, and multiple counts of aggravated battery of a peace officer and resisting.

Judge Ankur Srivastava detained him to await trial.

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About Tim Hecke 252 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