Suspected of engaging in a shooting incident involving road rage in the Edgewater-Andersonville neighborhood on New Year’s Eve, a firefighter from Chicago has now been prosecuted.
The 34-year-old Omotayo Kassim is facing three felony counts, according to the police: attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery by discharge of a handgun, and aggravated discharge of a firearm from an inhabited vehicle.
Immediate action led to the arrest of the Chicago Fire Department member, who has since spent the first two days of the new year incarcerated pending the outcome of the charges that were announced on Tuesday night.
According to CBS 2’s Jermont Terry, fire and police were dispatched to the area of Foster Avenue between Ashland Avenue and Paulina Street at approximately 7:55 p.m. on Sunday following the incident. An earlier traffic incident rapidly turned into a potentially violent road rage gunshot, prompting the urgent contact.
“The individual in the ambulance has been shot in the mouth,” an officer reported over the radio. The 35-year-old victim was allegedly doing a U-turn in a black Jeep when he was shot, according to the police. The decision seemed to enrage Kassim, who was reportedly driving a Chevrolet Tahoe, according to the police.
According to Chicago police and eyewitnesses, Kassim allegedly pursued the man in the Jeep before he drew a revolver in the heart of the North Side neighborhood. At least one gunshot was heard. On the scene, police arrested Kassim, and the critically injured victim was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
The fact that Kassim was a fellow Chicago firefighter was immediately apparent to the responding officers. Lifesaving is Kassim’s job as a member of the CFD. But now he’s facing charges of attempted murder. According to the Fire Department, Kassim became a member in 2019.
However, CBS 2 has uncovered that he was a fugitive from Colorado and sought on an outstanding warrant before becoming a firefighter in Chicago. This information is based on a document from 2015. Court records indicate that Kassim faced charges of “trespassing in an auto with intent to commit a crime.”
Kassim asked the Colorado courts to seal a criminal conviction in 2017, so it’s unclear how that case played out. This could explain why the CFD didn’t see the prior out-of-state charges. But now the accusations in Cook County are crystal obvious, and Kassim’s professional future and liberty are on the line.
Wednesday is when Kassim is scheduled to appear before a judge. The Chicago Fire Department has placed Kassim on leave in connection with the accusations, according to a spokesperson. As of late Tuesday, it was unclear if Kassim and the shot guy had any past acquaintanceship. As of late Tuesday, the victim’s condition remained critical.
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