CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Chicago couple is reeling over their beloved dog, Ruby, who was killed when someone fired six shots into their car as their pet was in the backseat.
The Friday after Thanksgiving, they were driving back home to Chicago. It all started on the Bishop Ford Freeway at 115th Street, but ended at the emergency vet, where the couple was forced to say goodbye to Ruby.
Now Illinois State Police are asking for your help tracking down the shooter.
Loving, energetic and loyal; not even 3 years old; brown-eyed, rescued border collie mix, Ruby, was more than a dog to her people, Joan Levergood and Doug Johnson.
"She was a family member," Joan said.
A family that celebrates Thanksgiving together; so Ruby was along for the ride to and from Michigan for their celebrations.
Ruby snuggled between them after the big meal on Thanksgiving Day; the last picture they have together.
"She was a good, good pup," Joan said.
A memory, that only makes looking at that picture more difficult.
"We think this low one is what hit Ruby," Doug said, pointing to the six bullet holes pierced their car Friday on a crowded expressway around 3 in the afternoon.
One of those bullets hit Ruby.
The cooler in the back still has a bullet lodged in it.
Joan kept driving as Doug crawled into the backseat.
"We were sure she was hit. It took me a couple minutes to actually find out where," Doug said.
All they saw was a white car driving dangerously and erratically.
"It looked extremely expensive, extremely rare, white sports car," Doug said.
That car was weaving through traffic.
They learned afterwards no one else called 911.
After hours at the emergency vet, they learned Ruby was paralyzed with permanent brain damage.
"It led to us having to make a hard decision, and say goodbye to her," Joan said.
They're choosing to speak up for a reason.
There have been 232 shootings so far this year on Chicago area expressways; more than the past two years combined.
Twenty-two people have been killed in those shootings, and another 103 have been wounded.
But of those 232 shootings, only 13 accused shooters have been arrested and charged.
Joan and Doug hope sharing their story helps change that.
"She could've been a kid. She could have been your grandmother, your baby," Joan said. "It really could happen to anyone. I was driving just like I always do. There were lots of cars around me."
Illinois State Police said, from the day before Thanksgiving through Monday morning, there were eight shootings on Chicago area expressways:
- I-57 SB 147thSt 11-26-21 4:18 PM
- I-94 NB 115thSt 11-26-21 3:10 PM
- I-290 EB Harlem 11-26-21 8:15 PM
- I-94 SB 111thSt 11-26-21 9:00 PM
- I-55 SB Pulaski 11-26-21 10:19 PM
- I-94 NB 28thSt 11-27-21 2:15 AM
- I-55 SB Kedzie 11-28-21 2:45 AM
- I-57 NB 119th 11-28-21 8:55 PM
Joan said, if Chicago's roadways are a place a person can't drive, sit in a car, or in their Ruby's case lay down in a backseat, without fear of being shot?
"The majority of people might not be dog lovers, but they love somebody, and that person could've been in the back of the car instead of Ruby," Joan said.
"It's going to be pretty hard to move forward from this and love the city like I did before," she added. "You kind of lose faith when it's so random and so unnecessary."
Just last week, we reported this issue, reaching State Police about their use of a new camera and license reader system. So far, only 100 cameras have been installed and are up and running. They won't say where, but Joan and D oug said they were told there was no camera that captured this shooting.
No one is in custody for the shooting that killed Ruby. Illinois State Police are asking anyone with information to call them at 847-294-4400, or email tips to ISP.CrimeTips@Illinois.gov. Witnesses can remain anonymous.
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