Parolee charged with shooting CTA bus driver

Jeremy Howard (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — A man on parole from Wisconsin injured a CTA bus driver when he opened fire on a bus without even looking where the gun was pointed, prosecutors said today.

The shooting occurred around 12:14 a.m. Monday in the 3400 block of South State.

Chicago police initially said that the bus driver reported two men fighting in the back of the bus, but the situation escalated when one of them pulled out a gun and opened fire, killing passenger Lamar McKay and injuring the bus driver. After investigation, though, police learned that a second person fired shots, too.

Officials now believe that McKay, 19, gave 20-year-old Jeremy Howard a gun before the two men and two others confronted a passenger at the front of the bus, according to a source familiar with the investigation. McKay attacked the victim, who pulled out a gun and shot McKay in the chest, killing him, the source said.

At that point, Howard crouched near the rear doors and fired toward the front of the bus, hitting the driver, prosecutors said.

Howard allegedly ran away after the bus driver pulled over, but CPD officers arrested him a few hours later. The police allegedly recovered a firearm that linked Howard to the shooting. Officials also said Howard admitted to the shooting and identified himself in video footage.

He is charged with aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm toward an occupied vehicle, and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Prosecutors said he is on parole in Wisconsin for possessing a stolen vehicle. He also had a firearms case in Wisconsin as a juvenile, officials said.

Judge Antara Rivera detained Howard pending trial.

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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