COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — The Pritzker Park fight that led to a shooting at the Jackson Red Line station Aug. 17 began with an insult to the shooting victim's girlfriend, prosecutors said Thursday.
Accused gunman Kornell Strenger, 24, was denied bail Thursday on allegations he chased the 23-year-old victim and his girlfriend into a Downtown CTA station about 7:45 p.m. Aug. 17 and opened fire — critically wounding the victim with multiple shots to his shoulder, leg and foot.
Strenger, who is on parole for a gun conviction, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.
According to prosecutors, the high-profile shooting began with an argument at Pritzker Park, 310 S. State St. The 23-year-old victim was there with his girlfriend and several friends, authorities said; Strenger was there with several friends.
At some point, the two groups began arguing after Strenger or someone with him insulted the 23-year-old's girlfriend, Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said during a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, 2650 S. California Ave.
Strenger told the victim's group he had a gun, and the victim's group ran away, prosecutors said.
Strenger is accused of chasing the victim and his girlfriend into the Jackson Red Line station at 230 S. State St., where the victim and girlfriend boarded a train hoping to escape the situation.
That's when Strenger held up a blue bag and fired his gun through the bag toward the victim multiple times, Antonietti said. The attack was captured on surveillance footage, and witnesses were able to identify Strenger as the shooter.
The mayhem played out in daylight on one of Chicago's most famous streets with commuters and shoppers around. It also led to fights on State Street that broke out in front of reporters waiting for police to talk about the shooting.
A witness who asked not to be named said she saw some 50 teens and young adults fighting at Pritzker Park across from Harold Washington Library about 7:45 p.m. Aug. 17.
She said about half the group ran to the southwest Jackson CTA subway entrance and continued to fight on the subway platform, she said.
When a Red Line train pulled into the station, the group ran onto a train car. Before the doors closed, the witness said, four or five gunshots rang out.
Strenger, of the 8900 block of South Halsted Street, was arrested after police released surveillance stills from the station.
According to state records, Strenger was released on parole for a 2015 gun conviction on Dec. 30, 2016, with two years left on his sentence. He was previously convicted in 2012 of attempted aggravated robbery.
Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan on Thursday denied Strenger bail.