Around 12:45 a.m. on September 14, Jazib Aqeel drove to the 1200 block of West Leland Avenue in the Sheridan Park neighborhood. He was picking up his last passenger of the night when he heard gunshots. The 27-year-old passenger died at the scene.
This was not the first homicide in the area. Another shooting happened on the same block nearly three years ago. On November 13, 2017, someone in a silver car fired shots at Deshawn Johnson, who was pronounced dead at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Aqeel, 32, has been a full-time Uber driver since September after working part-time since 2017. He recently moved to the Chicago area, so his silver Toyota sedan still has a Louisiana license plate.
When the unidentified passenger called to say he was on his way, Aqeel told him to take his time. He chose the ride because the man’s drop off location was in his home suburb—where he lives with his four-year-old child and pregnant wife. As the man was getting in the backseat of the Uber and Aqeel was confirming he had the right passenger, gunshots rang out.
Nearly 20 bullet holes littered Aqeel’s vehicle. Aqeel bent down in his vehicle and rushed out when the gunshots stopped. He hid by a trash bin and called 911, fearful that the shooter would come back. At the time, he was uncertain if the passenger was alive.
No arrests have been made and Chicago police do not have a description of the gunman—only that they were inside a dark-colored vehicle. Aqeel believes the shooting must have started behind them. At the scene, police put up crime scene tape around the car. Approximately 20 evidence markers sat under and around a squad car inside the scene. Five more markers surrounded the Toyota.
A detective noticed nearby surveillance cameras on the brick apartment buildings that enclosed the two-way street. Technicians collected the footage and it will be reviewed by police.
Uber has yet to comment on the shooting. Police say Aqeel is lucky to be alive. The death in this shooting was one of 13 over the past weekend. According to data kept by the Chicago Tribune, at least 57 people were shot over the weekend.
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