CHICAGO, IL --Two people were killed Thursday in separate shootings on the Eisenhower Expressway, Illinois State Police said. The shootings occurred about six hours apart.
The most recent shooting occurred around 11:50 a.m. on the inbound lanes of I-290 near South Central Avenue, state police said. The victim drove himself to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities have not released his identity.
The earlier shooting occurred around 5:30 a.m. on the outbound lanes of I-290 near South Laramie Avenue, ISP said. Someone opened fire on an aspiring rapper and his girlfriend, both 22, who were headed west in a white Jeep Liberty.
Family members identified the victims as Johnathon David Ortiz, who went by "John Doe" on stage, and his girlfriend, Alexis Garcia.
"He's a local rapper. Up and coming. He just performed at the House of Blues Sept. 9. Apparently he had the opening for Drake and Future Oct. 5 at the United Center. That was his big deal. That was upcoming. But apparently they took him from that," said Pedro Ortiz, the victim's brother.
The Jeep was found just before 6 a.m. on West Flournoy Street near South Lockwood Avenue, just north of the expressway. The driver's side window was blown out.
Both victims were rushed to Stroger Hospital, where Johnathon Ortiz was pronounced dead. Garcia was listed in critical condition. She had been shot in the back.
Relatives said neither victim had gang ties.
"There's no history of him having any violence, any issues. There is no history of him associating with people he shouldn't be. There is just no history there that could point us to why this happened," said Frank Robles, Ortiz's uncle.
Authorities shut down the outbound lanes from Independence Avenue to Central Avenue around 7:40 a.m. to search for shell casings. It re-opened around 9:30 a.m.
"I had to take an alternative route. I dropped my wife off. This was a very big inconvenience, but what can you do? Police got to do their job," said Sam Sykes, a commuter.
Pedro Ortiz made a desperate plea Thursday morning to whoever is responsible for killing his brother.
"Please stop the violence. Put the guns down. It's too much. Too much for everybody. This shouldn't have to happen to nobody," he said.
Both shootings remain under investigation.
Anyone who witnessed either shooting or has any information pertinent to the investigations should call Illinois State Police at (847) 294-4400. Officials said callers can remain anonymous.