A Cook County judge was killed and a woman was wounded in a shooting outside the judge’s South Side home Monday morning, a police source said.
Associate Judge Raymond Myles, 66, and a 52-year-old woman were found outside the home in the 9400 block of South Forest Avenue around 4:50 a.m., police said.
Myles suffered several gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, police said. The woman was hit in the leg and was taken to Christ in serious condition.
Police roped off much of the block as investigators combed the backyard of the judge’s two-story brick home with its manicured lawn and well-maintained shrubs.
No one was reported in custody.
A neighbor said he was awakened by gunfire and screams.
“I heard maybe six shots. The shots woke me up, and the screaming of the woman woke me up. She was screaming, ‘Don’t kill him, don’t kill him!'” said the neighbor, who asked not to be named for his safety.
The neighbor said he called 911 and was told that other people had already called. He then looked out the window and saw the woman’s body near the garage, its door open. When police arrived, he went outside and saw the judge lying on the porch.
“I think he was alive when they carried him to the ambulance,” he said.
The neighbor said he believes the judge and the woman were leaving the home to work out at a health club nearby. They always got up early to work out, he said. “The woman, she had a bottle of water with her.”
The neighbor also thinks that cameras installed by the judge at his home caught the shooting. There had a been push recently to get cameras installed through the neighborhood. He remembered joking with Myles about how the cameras might catch neighbors doing something embarrassing.
“We would joke, after the cameras were installed,” he said.
“I knew him well,” the neighbor said. “Great guy, great neighbor. He looked after the neighborhood. Any mischief in the neighborhood, he was investigating. He was always at the block clubs. He never talked about being a judge. He was just Ray.”
The neighbor said he just saw the judge over the weekend. They talked about their yards. “He tended a garden in the back, a vegetable garden,” he said. “It was always greenery. He was developing a green thumb.”
Another neighbor, Clayshia Moore, walked up and down the block barefoot before the sun began to rise. She had lathered her feet and hands with blessed oil while her aunt, Sondra Patterson, poured more of the oil down the street.
Patterson hoped the oil would protect her neighbors. “That God will cover us,” she said. “That he will help protect us.”
Moore was in bed when she heard five to six gunshots just before 5 a.m. She thought the noise could have been coming from the trash cans in the alley. She didn’t know there had been a shooting until she saw officers and paramedics just a few houses from where she lives.
Chicago police did not release details about what led to the shooting, leaving neighbors to speculate.
“That’s kind of odd coming from that house,” one neighbor said who didn’t want to be identified. “They quiet, they real quiet.”
The same neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said residents at a recent block club meeting had discussed installing cameras on the block in response to an uptick in home burglaries.
“Yeah, the area is going down, that’s for sure,” she said.
Most of the homes on the block are owned by their original owners, Patterson said. She has lived in her home since the 1970s. It’s only been in the past five years that she’s noticed crime in her neighborhood.
“We’ve never seen this before,” she said.
Myles, an associate judge in Cook County Circuit Court’s Criminal Division, was a longtime jurist who has been involved in several high-profile cases.
The two suspects in the infamous murder of seven people at a Brown’s Chicken in Palatine appeared before Myles shortly after their 2002 arrests.
Myles was the judge who ordered William Balfour to be held without bond in the 2008 killings of three relatives of singer Jennifer Hudson.
Just before 9 a.m. Monday, a handful of young men stood outside Myles’s locked courtroom, Room 204, at 26th Street and California Avenue, waiting to attend his scheduled morning call.
A woman emerged.
“Judge Myles?” she asked quietly, then directed the men to a courtroom down the hall.
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans released a statement saying he was “deeply saddened to share with you that the Chicago Police Department called my office this morning with tragic news concerning one of our colleagues.
“I know you join me in sending our condolences to his family and colleagues in the Criminal Division,” Evans said.
In 2015, Myles was attacked after getting into a minor traffic collision.
Authorities said Myles was trying to park along East 86th Place when his car was struck by another vehicle. The two drivers got out of their cars, but when the judge pulled out a cellphone and began taking pictures of the damage, the other driver punched him in the face, causing serious injuries, according to court records.
The judge fell to the ground bleeding and the assailant fled, according to a Cook County state’s attorney’s spokeswoman. Myles was taken to Jackson Park Hospital, where he was treated for a fractured nose, facial bruising and a chipped tooth, injuries that later required reconstructive surgery, records show.
Ten months went by before authorities arrested Deandre Hudson, 22, and charged him with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to someone over the age of 60, according to court records.
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