• 2 questioned in Dan Ryan Expressway fatal shooting of Evergreen Park special ed teacher Denise Huguelet
    Special Education

    2 questioned in Dan Ryan Expressway fatal shooting of Evergreen Park special ed teacher Denise Huguelet

    Police were questioning two people Wednesday after a retired Evergreen Park special education teacher was shot and killed on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

    Denise M. Huguelet, 67, was shot about 10 p.m. Tuesday in the southbound lanes near 63rd Street, according to the Illinois State Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

    She was struck by crossfire coming from two other cars as she headed home from a White Sox game with her husband, a relative told WBBM Newsradio. She had 11 grandchildren.

    A state trooper nearby heard the gunshots and chased a vehicle speeding from the area, state police said. With the help of a police helicopter, troopers arrested two people from the car and recovered a handgun. No charges had been filed as of Wednesday evening.

    Huguelet, of Orland Park, died of a gunshot wound to the back, an autopsy found.

    Huguelet was a special education teacher for 24 years at Central Middle School, according to Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124.

    “Her passion for students and her dedication to the community showed in all aspects of her work,” school officials said on Facebook. “Mrs. Huguelet’s nature with kids was kind, yet firm, to ensure that students were taught the independent skills they needed to be successful in their futures. She cared deeply about the academic needs of students, and the social and emotional well-being of every students’ needs.

    “An Evergreen Park native, she was a dear friend to many colleagues who will remember her character as pure, honest, fair and kind. She was an incredible woman whose memory will always be with us.”

    Her husband Michael Huguelet is a lawyer who once worked as a prosecutor for the village of Orland Park.

    “On behalf of myself and the village board, we express our sincere condolences to the Huguelet family,” Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said.

    The number of shootings on Chicago area expressways has more than tripled in the past three years. There have been 156 shootings on expressways so far this year, outpacing the 128 shootings seen in all of 2020, according to state police figures. There were 52 shootings in all of 2019.

    The Dan Ryan has seen seen 50 shootings so far this year, the most of any Chicago-area expressway, according to the state police. The Eisenhower Expressway has the second highest number of shootings at 34, followed by the Bishop Ford with 25.

    The Kennedy Expressway has had five shootings this year, and the Edens has had three.

    In February, the Illinois State Police were given $12.5 million to install high-definition surveillance cameras to deter and solve expressway shootings.

  • Chicago expressway shooting kills special ed teacher, 67, heading home from White Sox game
    Special Education

    Chicago expressway shooting kills special ed teacher, 67, heading home from White Sox game

    Chicago’s crime wave claimed another victim Tuesday night: a 67-year-old special education teacher who was fatally struck by a bullet while traveling home from a White Sox game, according to reports.

    Denise Huguelet was pronounced dead at a hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to her back, FOX 32 of Chicago reported. 

    The highway shooting, around 10 p.m. on the Dan Ryan Expressway, was the 156th such crime in the city so far this year, surpassing the 128 total for all of 2020, and tripling the 52 total for all of 2019, the report said.

    Huguelet was riding home with her husband when suspects in two other vehicles started firing at one another, and Huguelet was killed by a crossfire shot, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

    She and her husband had five children and 11 grandchildren, local media reported.

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    Illinois State Police later apprehended two suspects in connection with the shooting and recovered a handgun, FOX 32 reported.

    State Police tracked down the suspects after a police helicopter spotted their vehicle speeding away from the site of the shooting, the station reported.

    Huguelet, a resident of Orland Park, taught for 24 years in nearby Evergreen Park, was a beloved and dedicated educator, Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124 wrote in a Facebook post.

    “Her passion for students and her dedication to the community showed in all aspects of her work,” the school district’s statement said.

    “Mrs. Huguelet’s nature with kids was kind, yet firm, to ensure that students were taught the independent skills they needed to be successful in their futures. She cared deeply about the academic needs of students, and the social and emotional well-being of every students’ needs,” the post continued.

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    “An Evergreen Park native, she was a dear friend to many colleagues who will remember her character as pure, honest, fair and kind. She was an incredible woman whose memory will always be with us.”

    “She was a dear friend to many colleagues who will remember her character as pure, honest, fair and kind. She was an incredible woman whose memory will always be with us.”

    — School district statement

    The Chicago White Sox, who played the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night, also expressed condolences after learning about Huguelet’s death.

    “Our hearts are broken for the family of Denise Huguelet,” the team’s statement said. “She dedicated her career to making a difference in the lives of so many young students. The entire White Sox organization is deeply pained by the news of her passing and the loss of her warm, caring spirit that her friends, family and community remember well about Denise.”

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    The Dan Ryan has seen 50 shootings this year, the Eisenhower Expressway 34, the Bishop Ford 25, the Kennedy five and the Edens three, according to FOX 32.

    Earlier this year, the Illinois State Police received $12.5 million to install high-definition cameras to help prevent expressway shootings and gather evidence to solve those cases that occur, the station reported.