Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Inmates injured in jail shooting
Origin of gun is under investigation

Friday, February 03, 2006
Chicago Tribune
by Carlos Sadovi and Mickey Ciokajlo

Tribune staff reporters Jeff Coen and David Heinzmann contributed to this report

Cook County sheriff's officials Thursday were investigating a serious security breach that resulted in a gun being fired in a maximum-security division of County Jail.

Three inmates suffered minor injuries in the shooting, and no guards were threatened with the gun, an older model .32-caliber snub-nosed revolver, sheriff's officials said.

For a county department plagued in recent years by allegations of abuse by guards, frequent inmate stabbings and illegal strip searches, Wednesday's shootings raised to a new level concerns about security in the jail.

"Obviously that constitutes a significant breach ... and that's our No. 1 concern right now," said Bill Cunningham, a spokesman for Sheriff Michael Sheahan.

Cunningham said the sheriff's police are investigating the shooting, while the jail's internal affairs division is investigating how the gun got inside.

Sheriff's officials and an expert on the jail could not recall a firearm ever being discharged inside the facility, which typically houses around 10,000 inmates.

Charles Fasano, of the prison watchdog group John Howard Association, said he could only recall three or four incidents over the last 30 years of a gun getting inside secure portions of the jail.

"It is very rare. Not only at Cook County but most places," Fasano said.

"You never bring a weapon into the jail. ... It's very dangerous. The philosophy is this: If I have a gun and an inmate gets the gun, then you have a problem."

Last week, a Cook County jury convicted jail guard Kenyatta Sanders of attempting to smuggle a .38-caliber revolver into the jail in 2003.

In 1984, six inmates escaped when they overpowered guards using two revolvers that were smuggled into the jail by a paramedic. The paramedic had hidden the guns inside a blood pressure kit.

Investigators looking into Wednesday's shootings will probe whether a guard or another employee smuggled the weapon into the jail, Cunningham said.

"That's something we'll pursue," he said.

Last summer, inmate Randy Rencher walked out of the jail wearing a guard's uniform and went on a multistate bank-robbing spree. After he was caught in Ohio, Rencher claimed that he bribed a jail guard who aided him in his escape.

Cunningham said Thursday that the sheriff's office was still waiting for Rencher to agree to be interviewed about the allegation. He also said the sheriff's office has not turned up evidence that guards helped Rencher.

The shooting could have ramifications in next month's Democratic primary election for sheriff. Sheahan is retiring.

Richard Remus, a former jail official running for the position, said the shootings highlight security problems in the jail.

"It scares the crap out of me that a weapon's getting in the jail," said Remus, noting the unarmed guards carry only handcuffs and radios. "If the gun was in the wrong hands, they could have taken the whole building."

Remus headed a special operations unit that was accused of abusing inmates in a 1999 shakedown. Remus has denied that he harmed inmates, although he invoked the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination when he was called before a grand jury, which later concluded that abuse did occur.

Sylvester Baker Jr., another candidate for sheriff, called it "another instance of public corruption," saying that by all appearances a jail employee likely aided in bringing the weapon into the facility.

Tom Dart, Sheahan's chief of staff and the Democratic Party's endorsed candidate, said the incident underscores the jail's need for more guards.

"We need more people to adequately secure that building," said Dart, noting a federal judge's insistence that the county hire more guards this year.

Mike Quigley, a Cook County commissioner who has been outspoken on jail issues, said, "It's not a question of the right number of jail guards but the right kind of jail guards."

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Sheahan said investigators were trying to determine who fired the weapon. He said they had not ruled out the possibility that one of the injured inmates fired the gun.

"The superficial nature of the injuries [raises] questions about who actually fired the weapon and what their motives were," the statement said.

Injured in the shooting were Gregory Sherman, 27, of Chicago; Terry Martin, 28, of Dolton; and Lorenzo Evans, 27, of Chicago.

Sherman, who was awaiting sentencing for armed robbery and other convictions, suffered a grazed elbow.

Martin, awaiting trial for murder, was shot in the upper calf. Evans, also in on murder charges, was shot in the left thigh. All three men were treated at nearby hospitals and released.

A guard found the three men, who shared a cell, lying on the deck of the second floor outside the cell, sheriff's officials said. The cell's lock had been intentionally jammed open, officials said.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is attempting to trace the origin and ownership of the FIE Titanic revolver.



Recent Headlines

County forest preserves celebrating 100 years
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
The Beverly Review

2 former Cook County Jail inmates become tutors at Literacy Chicago
Monday, August 31, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Did Cook County Animal Control investigation go deep enough?
Friday, August 28, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Dart to Rauner: Pay to train cops to deal with mentally ill
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

Rauner signs 'Rocket Docket' law to reduce some jail stays
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

New law limits bail profits Cook County can take from poor
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
WBEZ

Rauner Signs Bills That Impact the Black Community
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Chicago Defender

Panel: County gambling machine tax is fair game
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Judge denies injunction to Backpage.com in legal victory for Dart
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Rauner signs "Rocket Docket" law to reduce some jail stays
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Federal judge says Backpage.com is full of prostitution ads
Monday, August 24, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

Appellate court upholds Preckwinkle's slot machine tax
Monday, August 24, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County rethinks strategy as Obamacare pushes outpatient care
Monday, August 24, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

Judge nixes release of sheriff’s deposition video
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: Sheriff Dart should hand his fight against sex trade to the feds now
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A plea for help in Harvey
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune

County audit: Missing pets rarely reunited in animal services 'maze'
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Cog Hill, Gleneagles at center of land dispute
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Commissioner Robert Steele, Cook County Commission on Women and YWCA host a panel on wage discrimination
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Northbrook official: New Red Seal plans abandon easements
Monday, August 17, 2015
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP