Driver who prosecutors say turned Lake Shore Drive into 'shooting gallery’ is denied bail - Chicago Tribune
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Driver who prosecutors say ‘set off hail of gunfire,' turned Lake Shore Drive into 'shooting gallery’ is denied bail

A motorist turned Lake Shore Drive into a "shooting gallery'' Saturday afternoon when her passenger opened fire on another car, leaving a 19-year-old woman with only one eye, prosecutors said.

The shooting occurred at 1:20 p.m. in the 300 block of South Lake Shore Drive, police said.

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Jennifer Medina, 26, of Bridgeview, charged with attempted first-degree murder, appeared Wednesday afternoon before Judge Susana Ortiz at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for a bond hearing, audio of which was broadcast on YouTube.

The 19-year-old woman who was shot was with her boyfriend and a 32-year-old woman taking a drive in a white Dodge Caliber on Saturday, prosecutors said.

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“Basically, she turned Lake Shore Drive into a shooting gallery,” Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney James Murphy told Ortiz.

Medina set off a “hail of gunfire,” by staring at the three people in that car and then saying something to her own passengers.

Jennifer Medina (Chicago Police Department)
Jennifer Medina (Chicago Police Department)

Medina was driving a white Ford Focus belonging to her parents when she pulled up on the right side of the other car near Jackson Drive.

The people in the Dodge noticed Medina staring at them and said ”something” to those in her car, but those in the Dodge could not hear what she said, Murphy said.

Medina’s passengers began yelling at the Dodge, throwing gang signs and asking the people in it where they were from, Murphy said.

When the young woman’s boyfriend, 20, asked why they were trying to “make a problem on the expressway,” a man sitting in the back seat of the Ford got out and said: “You can get it anywhere you want it,” Murphy said.

Then, as the light turned green, he got back in and fired a single shot, which hit the 19-year-old’s nose, and passed through her head.

Her boyfriend tried to apply pressure to the wound and drive away, but Medina drove after them, maneuvering in front of them, and blocking their car across multiple lanes, Murphy said.

After the Dodge tried to pass Medina several times, the gunman again “leaped out” of the back seat and "fired multiple more shots,'' and hit the car and its rear window.

“This defendant doesn’t stop there, she continued to weave in and out of traffic, trying to chase the victim down so her co-defendant could fire more gunshots,” Murphy said.

“They don’t care who gets in the way.”

The Dodge was able to exit near Navy Pier, where the people in the car asked a security officer there to call 911.

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The 19-year-old woman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she her condition had been stabilized after surgery to remove her left eye, Murphy said.

The attack was captured on a city camera, and Medina admitted to authorities she was driving the car on Lake Shore Drive, but at first said she didn’t know her passengers, or where she had picked them up. Later she said the other female in the Ford was her friend and the shooter was the friend’s “make out buddy,” Murphy said.

Additionally, Medina’s parents confirmed with authorities she was driving their car and the people from the other car identified Medina in a photo array, Murphy said, adding that though Medina has no criminal background she shouldn’t have been driving, because her license was suspended out of state for tickets.

Medina was represented by a public defender, who said she completed 11th grade, was working on her GED and has been a volunteer in her community.

“She’s still innocent until proven guilty,” Medina’s attorney said. Medina, a mother to two children, works in a dietary position and does volunteer work, which shows that she has a “commitment to show up to her appointments,” her attorney said.

Medina wasn’t just a passenger in a car when someone decided to take violent actions, Ortiz said, before denying bond.

Lake Shore Drive was occupied by “innocent civilians” and whether this occurred on Lake Shore Drive, on the South Side, North Side or West Side, it was “this defendant” who maneuvered and used her car and “enabled the shooter to get those shots off," Ortiz said.

”Now she has lost her left eye."

Medina, arrested at 9:30 p.m. Sunday in the 9100 block of Windsor Lane in Bridgeview, will be in court next on Oct. 21 in Skokie.

Twitter @RosemarySobol1

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