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Two Released Without Charges After Being Questioned In Shooting Death Of Retired Teacher Denise Huguelet

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two people who had been arrested after Illinois State Police spotted them speeding away from the scene of the shooting death of a retired teacher on the Dan Ryan Expressway have been released without charges.

Denise Huguelet, 67, was killed and another person was wounded in that shooting around 10 p.m. Tuesday on the Dan Ryan near Marquette Road, according to Illinois State Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

With the help of a helicopter, police were able to chase a vehicle seen speeding away from the scene of the shooting to 61st Street and Ashland Avenue in West Englewood, where troopers were able to disable the vehicle and take two suspects into custody. A gun was recovered.

Friday morning, Illinois State Police confirmed those two people had been released, and no charges have been filed, but a spokesperson said the investigation is ongoing.

"ISP Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) will continue to work tirelessly to pursue all possible leads, and put forth their greatest efforts towards identifying, locating and interviewing cooperative witnesses and victims, as part of their thorough investigation," Trooper Elizabeth Clausing wrote in an email.

Huguelet, a retired special education teacher, was killed while on the Dan Ryan Expressway on Tuesday night.

Police said a state trooper was traveling on the expressway around 10 p.m., and heard gunfire, and pulled over to make sure their vehicle hadn't been struck. Two other vehicles then pulled up alongside the trooper, and said they had been shot at.

Four people were in one of the vehicles, including Huguelet, who was shot and killed, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

Two people were in the other vehicle, and one of them suffered a graze wound.

Huguelet was a special education teacher at Central Middle School in Evergreen Park, according to Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124. She retired in 2015 after 24 years on the job.

She had just celebrated her 45th wedding anniversary with her husband, Michael, earlier this month.

As a teacher, we are told Huguelet left a lasting legacy.

"I wouldn't have got to school without her, honestly, giving up wasn't an option," said Walter Melancon. "She was like everybody's mom."

Melancon, one of her former students, told CBS 2's Tara Molina he wouldn't be who he is today without her.

"Growing up, I had anger issues. I had trouble focusing," Melancon said. "She changed that for me."

Huguelet was remembered as an incredible teacher who made the difference for so many during her more than two decades at Central Middle.

"Even when I graduated, she still checked up on me," Melancon said.

His message for the life taken too soon - the woman who changed his – was: "I love you and thank you for everything. Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for making me a better person."

Illinois State Police said they have responded to investigate 157 reported expressway shootings on the Chicagoland area Cook County expressways to date this year, as of Wednesday. The table below includes a shooting was reported on the Dan Ryan at 31st Street on Wednesday afternoon.

2021 Expressway Shooting Numbers Listed By Expressway Location

I-90/94 (Dan Ryan):






I-94 (Bishop Ford):


I-55 (Stevenson):


I-90/94 (Kennedy):




I-94 (Edens):






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