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3 people shot on Ohio feeder ramp on Kennedy Expressway

Expressway ramps are vulnerable places for shootings, expert says
Expressway ramps are vulnerable places for shootings, expert says 02:38

CHICAGO (CBS)-- An early-morning shooting Monday forced police to close the Ohio Street feeder ramp to the Kennedy Expressway.

At least three people were injured.

Illinois State Police said the shooting took place around 2:30 a.m.

About 45 minutes after the shooting, three people showed up at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in a bullet-ridden Kia with non-life-threatening injuries, according to ISP.

We also spoke with at least two drivers who were on the ramp and their cars were hit by stray bullets. Fortunately, none of them were injured.

Officers described the shooters' vehicle a silver Toyota Highlander.

The popular feeder ramp was closed to traffic as law enforcement searched for shell casings. The ramp reopened just after 6 a.m.

The feeder ramp is nestled next to a dog park and a densely-populated section of River North.  

State police tell us they are looking for more witnesses.

3 people shot on Ohio feeder ramp on Kennedy Expressway 01:21

As CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported, expressway shootings are down so far this year. But we are learning ramps are particularly susceptible.

Illinois State Police data show a large portion of the expressway shootings, particularly on the Kennedy Expressway, happen on on/off ramps like the Ohio Street feeder ramp.

Monday morning's shooting was the 150th expressway shooting so far this year.

While it sounds high, that is a significant drop from last year, when we had already hit 226 expressway shootings by this point.

The shooting Monday morning on the Kennedy was also the 33rd on that expressway since the beginning of 2019. And at least 10 of those shootings occurred on the on and off ramps. 

Police records also indicate this was the fourth shooting on the Ohio Street feeder ramp since July 2020.

Three people injured when gunfire erupts on Ohio Street feeder ramp to Kennedy Expressway 01:50

An expert said ramps are targeted in for violence in part because they offer a quicker getaway or merger point.

"They can easily merge with the traffic in their ensuing commotion that may be resulting from their actions, so that's probably the reason why these ramps are such an allure," said Dr. P.S. Sriraj, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Sriraj said some of the tactics that have been used to reduce violence on the expressways so far this year could also be used on the ramps.

"They are very comfortable targeting their victims and then getting away and managing with traffic," Sriraj said. "That means that there needs to be more focused efforts at enforcement at those locations that needs to be studied a little bit more carefully."

For the overall drop in expressway shootings, Illinois State Police credit more than $12 million worth of license plate readers installed since last summer.

ISP also credits the Chicago Anti-Violence Detail of up to 110 addition state troopers launched last October.

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