Safe Passage worker shot in the back near West Side school

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CHICAGO -- A Safe Passage worker suffered non life-threatening injuries, officials said, after he was shot in the back during rush hour Thursday on the West Side.

The brazen 8:15 a.m. shooting along a Safe Passage route in South Austin was captured on multiple surveillance cameras. Footage released by police shows a gunman stepping from a light-colored sedan on the 5600 block of West Corcoran Place and firing across or down the street. Witnesses report hearing multiple gunshots.

The Safe Passage worker, believed to be in his 20s, was shot in the back and transported to Loyola University Medical Center in serious condition. Police do not believe he was the intended target.

The shooting happened near Austin Town Hall Park and less than 200 yards from Duke Ellington Elementary School, where parents went to pick up their children later in the day.

Chicago police Sergeant Cindy Guerra said she has faith the detectives will find the gunman.

"We have a lot of good video that detectives are looking into. We'll know more later," Sgt. Guerra said.

Safe Passage is a city wide program that provides adult escorts for students walking to school.

"It's very disheartening because we made so many improvements in this area," Alderman Chris Taliaferro (29th Ward) said. "It's disheartening that someone was shot over here."

In a statement, CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson said no students were present during the incident.

"We are devastated by this senseless act that harmed a member of our CPS family, but we are grateful that the injuries were non-life threatening," Jackson said.

No arrests have been made and Area North Detectives are investigating.

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