Man dies after being stabbed in neck in downtown Chicago: police

An apparent traffic dispute during rush hour in downtown Chicago turned deadly Tuesday evening when two drivers got out of their cars and one stabbed the other in the neck.

The fight broke out round 7:30 p.m. in the 0-100 block of West Ohio Street in River North. The wounded driver refused help from witnesses and drove five blocks to the 600 block of North Michigan Avenue in Magnificent Mile, where he stopped near a patrol car and an ambulance was called, according to a police report.

Jeremy Walker, 36, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.


"It was really messed up, really messed up," said a witness who watched the attack while sitting in his car with his brother at the intersection of Dearborn and Ohio streets around 7:30 p.m.

Jeremy Walker | Provided

The witness, who did not want to be identified, said he was stopped at a red light when he saw the victim step out of his blue Kia at the intersection and ask the driver of a black car behind him, "Why are you honking at me?"

He saw three men get out of the black car, and the two drivers began punching each other, the witness said.

The Kia driver was the larger of the two and pinned the other driver to the ground, the witness said. That’s when the man on the ground pulled out a knife and the other man backed off, he said.

"He tried to control the knife with one arm, and when the knife slipped it went into his neck. Everyone was in shock," the witness said.

The driver of the black car fled north on Dearborn as the witness said he rushed to the victim’s car to help. "I’m by the guy, trying to talk to him to keep him up," he said. "Blood was pouring out."

The witness told his younger brother — who had come with him downtown to get dinner for his birthday — to go back to their car to grab a towel. But his brother struggled to open the trunk, and the witness ran back himself. But when he returned, the victim had driven away, he said.

"He was blurring out. When he drove out, he was swerving. I wanted to chase him to help" but lost sight of him in traffic, the man said. He followed a passing firetruck and found the victim’s car on Michigan Avenue surrounded by police.

"We were doing our best to be with him. He was against three guys," the witness said. A police officer told him the victim was stabbed in his jugular vein, the man said.

The witness’ younger brother said the attack was a wakeup call for him to be more cautious about road rage.

"I learned my lesson from watching this," said the man, who asked not to be named.

"Sometimes people get road rage for me. I’ve got to take a step back and watch what I do. That could be me," he said. "It’s sad. At night, when I found out he passed away, I started crying."

The victim’s Kia was left parked halfway between the left lane and the median. Drivers slowed to a crawl as they passed the car surrounded by police tape.

"It’s kind of shocking because we’re not from around the area," said a man from the Waukegan area visiting the city with his girlfriend.

The man, who asked to be identified only as Tony, said the couple don’t come to Chicago that often, and "seeing things like this adds to its bad reputation."

The stabbing occurred in the 18th police district, where murders are up 100% from last year, from 4 to at least 8. Cases of aggravated battery are up 18%, from 106 to 125 attacks.

No arrests were reported, but the police report said some of the attack was caught by a nearby car’s camera. The attacker was described in the police report as between 20 and 30, wearing a black baseball cap, a black T-shirt and jeans.

Jeremy Walker often went to watch his 12-year-old son play organized basketball.

On Saturday, Walker’s son will play his next game, just days after Walker was fatally stabbed at the busy River North intersection.

"His son asked what’s going to happen now that his dad won’t be at his game Saturday," Daphne Terrell, Walker’s mother, told the Chicago Sun-Times. She told him: "Let’s play this ball for your dad and show him that you’re going to be the best that you can."

Terrell described Walker as an "all-around guy" who was once a barber and a high school football player with a passion for detailing cars. "He detailed cars like a professional… People loved the way he washed cars," she said.

Walker’s mother said he’d manage the clock during his son’s basketball games when no one else was available to do so.

She added that she told Walker’s son he would be watching him play Saturday. "[I told him] ‘He’s going to be looking down on you and making sure that you remember everything that he was screaming at you on the sidelines,’" she said.

FOX 32's Joanie Lum contributed to this report.