Man charged with 1st-degree murder, 3 counts of attempted murder in connection with fatal expressway shooting in April

Man charged with 1st-degree murder, 3 counts of attempted murder in connection with fatal expressway shooting in April
·3 min read

Five months after 22-year-old Samuel Garrett was killed as he drove down the Eisenhower Expressway, Illinois State Police, tasked with locating his killer, announced an arrest and charges against the man investigators and prosecutors allege was responsible.

Garrett, of Chicago, was killed April 12 as he drove west on the offramp from Interstate Highway 290 at Damen Avenue with four friends in his vehicle. Responding troopers located an empty vehicle crashed in a lane of traffic on the Eisenhower at Ashland Avenue — the occupants all took off running — and Garrett’s vehicle crashed on the offramp.

State police said Garrett was the only one in his vehicle who suffered critical injuries. The other four occupants, three men, ages 21, 22 and 25, and a 25-year-old woman, all from Chicago, were treated at an area hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, according to a news release in April. Two of them suffered injuries directly from the shooting, state police told the Tribune at the time.

Garrett was taken to Stroger Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:50 a.m., said Natalia Derevyanny, a spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office. His cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was homicide, she said.

The shooting investigation was assigned to the violent crimes unit within the state police’s criminal investigations division. Agents with that unit served multiple residential search warrants and arrested Antwan Carter, 33, of Chicago.

On Friday, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office approved charges against Carter in connection with the April shooting. He faces one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder, according to state police.

Carter appeared before a judge for a bond court hearing this weekend and was ordered held on $1 million bail, of which he would have to pay 10% to be released from Cook County Jail, where he is being held, according to state police.

The arrest and subsequent charges may provide a spark of hope for the families of the more than 165 people who have been shot on Cook County expressways so far this year. The number of shootings on state highways — which are under the jurisdiction of state police — have exploded exponentially in recent years and the cases can be notoriously difficult to solve for myriad reasons. Some expressways, such as the Eisenhower and the Dan Ryan, run through historically high-crime areas; there is relative ease with which to put distance between the shooter and the crime scene through on- and offramps; and it can be incredibly difficult locating witnesses without doors to knock on, experts have said.

In the first nine months of 2021, shootings on expressways outpaced those in all of 2020 with at least 165 gun attacks, according to data from state police. Last year, the area saw 128 such shootings, more than double that of 2019. There were 52 expressway shootings that year and 43 in 2018.

Though the surging numbers in the past two years, specifically, have coincided with an overall spike in city shootings, the expressway attacks have increased more rapidly.

Shootings throughout all of Chicago this year have risen by about 10% over last year, according to Chicago Police Department data, while expressway shootings during the first nine months of the year have already increased more than 24% over the whole of last year.

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