Bail was denied Sunday for a Chicago Transit Authority worker accused of shooting an intoxicated man multiple times early Saturday after he was knocked down during an argument at the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line stop .
Sylvester Adams, 53, of Lynwood, faces charges of attempted murder and unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the attack, which was captured on cellphone video that spread on social networks. During his initial hearing, prosecutors said when Adams was arrested shortly after the shooting, he admitted to opening fire on the 37-year-old.
Before the shooting, prosecutors said the victim and another man approached a kiosk where Adams and another CTA employee were parked and asked for directions and help finding an ATM. The victim, who prosecutors said was “clearly drunk”, then got into a fight with the man, prompting Adams’ colleague to call the police.
Officers helped the man onto a train but left when the victim said he was going to be driven, prosecutors said. The victim then began threatening Adams and the other CTA worker, and he also became combative with other customers.
Prosecutors said Adams eventually left the gazebo, holding a hammer, and began arguing with the victim, who pushed Adams to the ground. While on the ground, prosecutors said, Adams attempted to hit the other man with the hammer, and he was kicked in the face.
Adams followed as the victim attempted to descend a flight of stairs, prosecutors said. They were followed by other witnesses, one of whom was filming.
“He got his pipe, boy,” a witness said in the widely circulated cellphone video as Adams appears to reach into his pocket and pull out a handgun.
Prosecutors said Adams then fired nine shots, hitting the other man in the back, abdomen and right leg. Adams returned to the booth and told his colleague that “his life was over,” prosecutors said.
The other CTA employee, following a trail of blood, found the victim hiding at the end of the platform, prosecutors said.
The shooting was also captured by the station’s surveillance cameras, prosecutors said. And when officers arrived at the station for the second time, Adams admitted he had shot the victim; that conversation with police was recorded on a police body-worn camera, prosecutors said.
The victim was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition, although prosecutors said he is expected to recover.
Joshua Nathan, Adams’ public defender, described his client as a longtime Cook County resident who worked for the CTA for four years. After the shooting, the CTA said it was “pursuing the termination” after noting that Adams had violated several agency rules, including for possession of a firearm.
Nathan pressed Judge Barbara Dawkins to deny prosecutors’ request to deny bail, arguing that Adams had a license to own a firearm and had no publishable criminal history.
Dawkins countered that Adams brought a gun to work and fired several rounds “at one of the busiest ‘L’-rigs in this city.”
“Fleas have no name. They don’t have an address,” she said. “[He was] firing several shots into a stairwell, putting…everyone in that vicinity at risk.
Dawkins then ordered Adams detained without bail. His next court date is set for April 4.