Chicago expressway shootings down for third straight year, ISP says

For the third year in a row, the Illinois State Police (ISP) reported a decrease in the number of shootings on Chicago area expressways.

Halfway into 2024, ISP data showed a 36% reduction in total shootings compared to the same period in 2023. This year's decline builds on a 65% decrease in shootings since 2021, when expressway violence reached an all-time high.

"Year after year, we have seen a decrease in the number of Chicago area expressway shootings," said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. "This year's reduction, on top of the decreases we've seen over the last two years, shows our tactics to reduce violence on the expressway are having an effect. ISP will continue to dedicate the resources needed to help keep the public safe."

In 2021, from Jan. 1 to June 30, ISP reported 109 shootings. There were 288 arrests and 110 guns seized. Since then, there has been a gradual decrease in shootings and an increase in arrests and guns seized. 

During the first six months of 2024, ISP reported 9 shootings. There were 1,249 arrests and 204 guns seized. 

Following the 2021 surge, ISP increased patrols and created specialized units focused on strategic crime reduction using automated license plate readers, expanded air operations and enhanced forensic services.

The latest report also highlighted the ISP Division of Criminal Investigation's role in solving expressway shootings. One example details an investigation stemming from a road rage incident in June. Through interviews, license plate reader data, and search warrants, investigators identified suspects and secured charges within two days of the shooting.

ISP officials said they will continue to evolve to address emerging issues and maintain a focus on reducing violence.