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Safe Passage Worker Shot Teen Girl in Chest, Prosecutors Say

By  Erica Demarest and Mauricio Peña | March 20, 2015 8:00am | Updated on March 20, 2015 5:38pm

 Shelby Crawford, 18, was held in lieu of $900,000 bail after prosecutors hit him with two gun charges.
Shelby Crawford, 18, was held in lieu of $900,000 bail after prosecutors hit him with two gun charges.
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CPD News Affairs

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Prosecutors said a Safe Passage employee shot a 17-year-old girl this week, lodging a bullet between her ribcage and lungs.

Shelby Crawford, 18, appeared in bond court Friday on charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated battery with a firearm. He is currently on probation for a juvenile gun charge.

Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said in court that Crawford worked for the CPS Safe Passage program, which ensures students can make it to and from school safely around the city.

But a Chicago Public Schools spokesman disputed that, saying Crawford is employed as a "student support worker" with Foundations College Prep Charter School. An arrest report lists Crawford as a "Safe Summer" employee with CPS.

According to prosecutors, Crawford opened fire about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday following an altercation with a group of young people in the 1300 block of West 111th Place.

A 17-year-old girl was shot in her chest and rushed to a local children's hospital, Scaduto said during a bond hearing Friday. The teen was listed in serious condition.

Scaduto said Crawford told police he found the .38 caliber gun earlier that day while walking along his Safe Passage route. She added that Crawford showed police where he stashed the gun after the shooting, and officers recovered two spent casings.

Prosecutors said Crawford was not authorized to carry a weapon.

He was arrested two hours later when police patrolling the 6900 block of South Indiana Avenue saw Crawford holding a different gun, Scaduto said.

It's not clear why he wasn't taken into custody earlier.

According to an arrest report, officers spotted Crawford showing a gun to a man in a gangway next to a vacant house about 6:20 p.m. Wednesday. As police approached, the report said, Crawford tossed the gun, turned toward the house and reached for his pants zipper.

"Officer, all I was doing was peeing," Crawford told police, according to the report.

Police said they found a 9 mm semiautomatic gun with five live rounds laying on the ground.

As Crawford was being processed in the Grand Crossing police station later that night, the officers were notified that Crawford was a suspect in the earlier shooting that wounded the teenage girl, court records show.

When Crawford recounted the shooting to police, according to an arrest report, he said a group of teens started a fight with him, beating him in his face. They eventually ran off, and Crawford chased them until he heard gunshots, he said. He told officers he ran back to the school where he's employed.

Police found blood spatters on Crawford's pants and cuts on his hand, court records show. He also had a swollen lip.

In court Friday, Scaduto said Crawford was on juvenile probation for unlawful possession of a firearm. Police said he doesn't have an FOID card or a conceal and carry license.

Cook County Judge James Brown ordered Crawford, of the 1200 block of West 108th Street, held in lieu of $900,000 bail.

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