CHICAGO — Detectives are searching for a suspect who fatally shot a Cook County judge and seriously wounded a woman outside the judge’s home on the city’s South Side on Monday morning.
Associate Judge Raymond Myles, 66, and a 52-year-old woman were found outside the home in the Roseland neighborhood around 4:50 a.m., according to police.
The female sustained a gunshot wound to the leg and was transported to a nearby hospital in serious condition and is expected to survive. Myles sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his body and was transported to Christ Hospital where he was pronounced dead. No one had been taken into custody.
Myles, who presided over criminal cases, had faced threats and harassment in the past, but it was unclear whether the incident was related to his work.
Authorities said that there has been a pattern of robberies in the area. But police also said that it did not appear anything was taken from the victims or the home before the suspect fled the area. Police believe Myles and the woman were getting ready to head out for their regular early-morning workout when the incident occurred.
“Everyday civil servants like Judge Myles and those of us in law enforcement work tirelessly to hold criminals accountable and make our streets safer,” Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. Kevin 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. It’s also a direct attack criminal justice system that keeps our society safe.”
Deputy Chief Melissa Staples said the female victim, who she described as a close associate of Myles, walked out of the judge’s home and encountered the armed assailant. The woman and the suspect exchanged words before he fired and wounded her. At that point, Myles, hearing the commotion, came out from his home to investigate.
“Based off very preliminary information, he exchanged words with the offender before he was fatally shot multiple times,” said Staples, who added that the woman was able to dial 911. Police declined to comment on what the suspect and victims said to each other, citing concerns about the ongoing investigation.
Myles joined the court in 1999 when the Illinois Supreme Court appointed him to fill a vacancy. He has served in the criminal division for the last eight years.
Timothy Evans, chief judge of the Cook County Circuit Court, called the slaying tragic.
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
Navarro said the FBI, which is assisting the police department’s investigation, has issued a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the assailant in the shooting. Police were also asking anyone with information about the shooting to call detectives at 312-747-8272.
The nation’s third-largest city has tallied more than 140 murders and 580 shooting incidents in 2017. Chicago finished 2016 with more than 760 murders, making it the most violent year for the city in about two decades.