WATCH LIVE: Live stream of Jason Van Dyke trial in Laquan McDonald murder case

Erik Runge joined WGN News in November 2013 as a per diem reporter.

Prior to working at WGN, Erik spent three years as a general assignment reporter at Fox 9 Minneapolis, Minnesota. He spent several years in central Kansas where he covered the story of a serial killer named ‘BTK’, which stands for Bind Torture Kill. His work has been seen on NBC Nightly News and he has also reported live for MSNBC after Hurricane Ike crashed into Galveston, Texas. He most recently covered governmental shutdowns, a state house protest that lasted for weeks and several natural disasters including hurricanes, tornados, wild fires and blizzards.

An Iowa native, Erik earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Iowa. Erik is a life-long Cubs and Bears fan and lives with his dog Cassie.

Recent Articles
  • 5 jurors chosen in Jason Van Dyke trial

    CHICAGO — Five jurors were sworn in Monday in the trial of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with murdering 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014. Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan interviewed 19 of roughly 200 potential jurors Monday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, 2650 S. California Ave., as jury selection began in earnest. Jury prospects were asked last week to complete 27-page questionnaires that included more than 100 questions. The five seated jurors include three women and […]

  • Man in very critical condition after saving grandson from house fire

    CHICAGO — A boy who was saved by his grandfather from a fire on the Southeast Side Sunday may have started the blaze while playing with a lighter, the building’s owner tells WGN. After fire broke out in a coach house near 100th Street and Avenue L Sunday afternoon, the flames could be seen for blocks and the smoke was visible for miles. According to police, 69-year-old Apolonio Castillano removed a second-floor window and dropped his 7-year-old grandson into the arms […]

  • Man in very critical condition after saving grandson from house fire

    CHICAGO — A 69-year-old man, who was reported to be dead by police after saving his grandson from a house fire, is still alive and in critical condition. The man dropped his 7-year-old grandson from a second-floor window and into the arms of officers as fire spread through a Far South Side home Sunday. Police had reported earlier the man had died from his injuries, but now say the man is in very critical condition, according to family members. Flames could […]

  • Man dies after being swept into Lake Michigan

    CHICAGO — A 26-year-old man died Saturday after a massive wave swept him into Lake Michigan near North Avenue Beach. The incident started about 5:30 a.m., according to fire officials. Crews searched for nearly two hours and pulled the man, identified as Ramiro Calixto, out of the lake about 7:20 a.m. He was rushed in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he later died. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Ramiro Calixto, 26, of the 3200 block […]

  • Dozen arrested, cited and released after anti-violence protest near O’Hare

    CHICAGO — Police arrested a dozen participants of an anti-violence protest on Labor Day that tried and ultimately failed to shut down an expressway that leads to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Live TV reports Monday showed Illinois State Police troopers also arresting the main organizer of the protest, the Rev. Gregory Livingston, who had vowed days earlier to temporarily stop the traffic flow on Interstate 90, also known as the Kennedy Expressway. Dozens of troopers blocked a ramp onto the […]

  • 4 children among those critically injured when police chase ends in crash

    CHICAGO — A police chase on the West Side ended in a crash that seriously injured two adults and four children Monday. Police said officers attempted to pull over a car that had expired license plate tags. The driver of the car gave chase and crashed into another car at Cicero Avenue and Madison Street. The Chicago Fire Department said that car contained a 46-year-old man, a 40-year-old woman, a 13-year-old boy, an 11-year-old girl, a 9-year-old boy and a […]

  • Police seek suspect in attempted home invasion on West Side

    CHICAGO – Police are searching for a suspect in an attempted home invasion on Chicago’s West Side. Police said the suspect broke into an apartment in the 1900 block of West Maypole Avenue around 2 a.m. Sunday. Police said a person inside the apartment saw the suspect and screamed. The suspect ran away. No one was injured. Police are warning people to keep the area around your home well-lit and report suspicious activity immediately. Police also advise residents to keep […]

  • Holiday weekend violence down so far due to more police patrols, top cop says

    CHICAGO — Violence in Chicago is down this holiday weekend, in part because of stepped up police patrols, officials said. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the violence so far during the holiday weekend “hasn’t been bad.” About 1,400 extra officers are patrolling the streets in an effort to keep the violence down. Targeted raids and more cops working the streets are just a couple of tools police are using. Since Saturday, two people have been killed and at least 12 others […]

  • ‘We will shut down O’Hare’: Protesters plan to march on Kennedy on Labor Day

    CHICAGO — Plans to shut down the Kennedy Expy. near Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Labor Day are moving forward. Demonstrators plan to meet around 11:30 a.m. Monday before marching onto the Kennedy. The goal is to block both inbound and outbound traffic. “We must end Chicago’s tale of two cities,” organizer the Rev. Gregory Livingston said at an event Saturday. Livingston helped organize a protest last month that briefly shut down Lake Shore Drive. He added: “We will shut […]

  • Man extradited from Mexico in 1994 murder of Illinois college student

    CHICAGO — A man who fled to Mexico after authorities say he fatally shot an 18-year-old college student 24 years has been returned to Chicago to face murder charges. Cook County prosecutors said in court Thursday that 43-year-old Oscar Hernandez left the country following the April 1994 shooting of Armand Browning, who was home on spring break from Virginia’s Hampton University. Police say the then-19-year-old Hernandez shouted gang slogans and fired six bullets into a vehicle carrying Browning and friends […]