An Illinois state trooper passed away
following a shooting incident on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago.

According to a report by the Chicago
Tribune, the incident happened near 43rd Street in the city at around 2 pm.

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The trooper was rushed to the University of Chicago Hospital, where he subsequently died, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner. He suffered at least one gunshot wound to the head.

The officer was identified as Gerald
Mason, 35, by his mother, Linda Mason.

The state police had released a statement about gun violence on Thursday and had said on Friday that the department was going to beef up patrols “during peak criminal activity times,” in the evening and overnight hours.

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The Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Patrol (DOP) for the District Chicago area will increase preventive patrol presence by 157% during peak criminal activity times on Chicago area expressways during District Chicago’s Safe Drive Detail, the statement said according to the Chicago Tribune.

“For more than 30 years, patrol of Chicago area expressways has been a unique duty of this agency and in that time, we have not previously confronted the concentrated levels of gun violence we have faced in 2020 and 2021,” ISP Director Brendan F Kelly was quoted as saying by the Chicago Tribune.

 “We are a statewide agency with statewide missions and responsibilities, but we must dedicate the greatest resources to the greatest need, and right now the greatest need is here, on Chicago’s expressways,” Kelly added.

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According to police data, district Chicago has reported a total of 185 expressway shootings in the year 2021. This number stood at  83 at the same time last year. The yearly total of the shootings stood at 128 in 2020.

And if 2021 has been worse than 2020, it was itself worse than the previous year of 2019. There had been more than twice the number of shootings in 2020 than the 52 expressway shootings in 2019. There were 43 in 2018, according to the state police data.