CHICAGO — Calling for an end to the rule of "no snitch" in their community, family members of slain special education teacher Betty Howard lamented the brazen acts of the man charged in her murder and his disregard for the innocent people in the line of fire.
Dominique Hodrick was aiming for a man known as "Nookie" when he started shooting across East 79th Street, prosecutors said Wednesday when the 23-year-old Chatham man appeared in court for a bond hearing. Instead of hitting his target, Hodrick shot Howard and two other bystanders, including woman walking her dog.
In labeling Hodrick "a danger to everyone," Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. ordered that he remain behind bars pending the case.
"(The judge) hit home with that," said Krystal Long, a niece of Howard's. "If you can shoot a gun in broad daylight without no regard for anyone out there, then absolutely, he is a danger to society."
Hodrick is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Howard, two counts of attempted murder for grazing the woman walking her dog and a man inside the real estate office with Howard, aggravated battery for shooting at Nookie, with whom he had an ongoing dispute, and reckless discharge of a firearm.
Detailing the accusations facing Hodrick, Assistant State's Attorney Glen Runk said Wednesday that the shooter saw Nookie passing by in a car, opened the door of a building across the street from the Kale Real Estate in the 700 block of Eat 79th Street and started firing.
Howard, a special education teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep high school, was shot in the chest, the bullet piercing her aorta, Runk said. The other two shooting victims suffered graze wounds.
Hodrick, of the 7900 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue, allegedly confessed to the shooting after his arrest.
Hodrick was convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in 2012 and sentenced to probation, prosecutors said. He has also been previously convicted of misdemeanor aggravated assault and reckless conduct.
While commending Chicago police for their hard work, Howard's family bemoaned how few people had been willing to come forward with information about the case.
"We all just need to (start working to) take back our community," Long said. "We've got to get rid of the whole 'no snitch."'
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