A judge on Sunday denied bail to an on-duty Chicago Transit Authority customer assistant captured on video shooting a man following a brief fight at the Red Line 95th Street terminal.
Prosecutors said Sylvester Adams, 53, fired nine shots at the intoxicated 37-year-old man at the station, 15 W. 95th St., early Saturday morning. A viral video showed the man shoving Adams down to the floor of the terminal before Adams allegedly pulled a handgun and fired several shots toward the victim who had descended a staircase.
Adams, of Lynwood, is facing attempted murder and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charges connected to the shooting.
The shooting occurred at the end of a series of scuffles and confrontations, prosecutors said during a bail hearing broadcast on YouTube.
The 37-year-old victim, who was “unarmed and clearly intoxicated,” according to prosecutors, had hurled threats at Adams and a co-worker who were inside a locked kiosk, prosecutors said. The man then became combative with people waiting for the train, authorities said.
Adams left the kiosk with a hammer in his hand and confronted the 37-year-old man, prosecutors said. The younger man shoved Adams to the floor and Adams tried to hit the man with the hammer but missed and was kicked in the face, prosecutors said.
The 37-year-old man then retreated down to the train platform level. A passenger filmed Adams as he stood up, pulled out a handgun and followed the victim and then opened fire at the top of the stairwell.
The man was struck in the back, abdomen and his lower right leg, but is expected to recover from his wounds, prosecutors said. After shooting the man, Adams returned to the kiosk and told his co-worker that his “life was over,” prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said CTA surveillance clearly showed the victim retreating away from Adams before the shots were fired.
Adams was also captured on police body-worn camera admitting to shooting the man, authorities said.
Adams’ court-appointed attorney Joshua Nathan asked the court to reject the state’s mandatory no bail request, noting that Adams didn’t have a criminal background and had a valid firearm owner’s identification card, and that the victim “accosted” Adams and several other riders before the shooting. He also indicated that his client could face a lighter sentence if he can prove during trial that the shooting occurred as a result of “sudden and intense passion.”
In denying bail, Judge Barbara L. Dawkins said there was overwhelming evidence against Adams, including video and his own statements, adding that he potentially put lives in danger by bringing a gun to work and firing shots “on one of the busiest ‘L’ platforms in the city.”
“Bullets don’t have names. They don’t have addresses. Firing multiple shots down a stairwell, putting not just this complaining witness at risk, but anyone who was in the vicinity at risk,” the judge said.
In a statement, the CTA said Adams was in violation of several workforce rules, including one that prohibits the possession of a gun, and the agency was pursuing his termination.
Adams is expected to return to court next week.