CHICAGO (AP/SUN TIMES) - A judge who oversaw criminal cases in Cook County, Illinois, was shot to death early Monday outside his Chicago home and a woman he knew was shot and wounded, police said.
Investigators are looking at the possibility that the shooting of Associate Circuit Court Judge Raymond Myles and the acquaintance could have been part of an attempted robbery, although police don't believe anything was stolen from the victims or the house. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Myles also "may have been targeted for one reason or another."
"The offender shot him numerous times," Guglielmi said.
No arrests have been made in the shootings that happened around 5 a.m. on Chicago's South Side. Myles was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Since the woman who was shot is a witness to a killing, her name is not expected to be released, Guglielmi said. Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples described the woman as a close associate of Myles and said she was shot once and is expected to survive.
The woman was shot first. Myles heard commotion and a gunshot, exchanged words with the attacker and then was shot himself, Staples said.
Police Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro called the shooting "a senseless act of violence."
"Every day civil servants like Judge Myles and those of us in law enforcement work tirelessly to hold criminals accountable and make our streets safer," Navarro said. "That's why, when incidents like this occur, it's not only a reminder of the ever-present challenge we have with illegal guns and the offenders willing to use them, but it's also a direct attack on the criminal justice system that keeps our society safe."
Myles received his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. He was appointed to the court in 1999. Circuit court judges appointed him an associate judge in 2001 and Myles had served in the criminal division since 2009, Chief Judge Timothy Evans said in a statement.
"I join all of the judges today in the Circuit Court of Cook County in expressing our sadness regarding the tragic passing of our colleague and friend," Evans said.
"I have always known Judge Myles to be focused and determined in the pursuit of justice, and his conduct earned him the confidence and respect of the people who appeared before him," Evans added. "All of our colleagues at the Leighton Criminal Court Building will miss Judge Myles, who they came to know for his kindness and his impartial administration of justice."
Myles persuaded his South Side neighbors to install surveillance cameras on their homes. Now those same cameras could help solve Monday’s fatal shooting of the judge, police said.
Police were checking the cameras to see whether they could help identify the gunman, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. Detectives are considering a variety of motives including robbery — as well as possible links to a beating the judge suffered in 2015 and recent threats that he’d received.
“You have our word that we will not let Judge Myles’ life be lost in vain and we will hold his killer accountable,” Chicago Police Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro said at a news conference.
The FBI is working with Chicago police on the investigation and is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to a suspect in the case.