Mail carrier shot, critically wounded on South Side

A mail carrier was critically wounded by stray gunfire Thursday morning in the Burnside neighborhood, according to city officials.

The 24-year-old woman was delivering mail in the 9100 block of South Ellis Avenue when gunfire erupted from inside at least two vehicles speeding past, Chicago police said in a statement.

“Ten, maybe 15, 20 shots. Went to the door and everybody was running up to the neighbor’s house and the body was just laying on the ground," said Jamaal Smith, an eyewitness.

She was struck in each leg and in the back of her head, police said. One gunshot entered her buttocks and ricocheted to her abdomen, CPD spokeswoman Karie James said. Investigators believe she was not the intended target, James said.

Paramedics responded about 11:40 a.m. and took her to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition, police said.

“What we’re doing now is were asking for help from the community. We know it’s been proven successful when the community is involved. We are seeking help," said Commander Robert Rubio, Chicago police.

U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokeswoman Sylvia Carrier confirmed the woman was an on-duty USPS employee.

“She just got this route like two, three months. She ain’t been on this route for long. She definitely wasn’t a target," said Smith. 

She is the second USPS employee shot on the job in Chicago this year.

In May, a 47-year-old USPS employee was shot in his cheek while delivering mail in Brighton Park. Police said he was one of two people wounded by gunfire in the 2900 block of West 40th Street. Neither man could tell investigators where the gunshots came from.

In 2019, a postal worker was shot and wounded in suburban Elk Grove Village while driving in an unmarked postal vehicle. A man who lived nearby allegedly came up to the postal worker’s car window, tapped on it and then fired shots inside, authorities said. Cameron Ruebusch was later charged as the shooter.

In April, a postal worker, Angela Summers, was fatally shot while working in Indianapolis. A 21-year-old man, charged in the 45-year-old’s murder, allegedly confronted her before the shooting about mail not being delivered to his home.

The US postal inspection service is offering a $50,000 reward for information in this latest case.