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A nineteen-year old Chicago man has been charged with the May 15 shooting death of Leodis Blackburn, a Best Taxi driver, in the 500 block of Elmwood Avenue, Commander Tom Guenther, public information officer of the Evanston Police Department announced at a press conference on May 23.

Commander Guenther said the shooter flagged down the cab at Howard Street and Ridge Avenue at about 2 a.m. on May 15, and asked to be taken to the 500 block of Elmwood. When the cab arrived at the destination, the shooter opened the door, partially stepped out of the cab, pulled out a gun, and demanded money, said the Commander. The cab driver, Mr. Blackburn, began to drive away, and the shooter shot him in the head, and then fled, said the Commander. Mr. Blackburn’s taxi continued moving and crashed into a parked car.

Evanston Fire Paramedics responded, treated and transported Mr. Blackburn to a local hospital. He remained in critical condition until he succumbed to his injuries on May 18.

 Evanston Police detectives along with the North Regional Major Crime Task Force actively investigated the shooting. Commander Guenther said police obtained video surveillance footage which showed the shooter entering the cab at Howard and Ridge. Also, he said police received an anonymous tip which identified the shooter. After further investigation, police picked up the shooter and interviewed him. The shooter “made a confession,” said the Commander.

The gun used in the shooting was bought on the street, and was sold on occasions during the investigation, said the Commander.

The shooter was out on parole for aggravated robbery at the time of the shooting. He has been charged with two felonies, attempted robbery and first-degree homicide, said the Commander.

Fourth Ward Alderman Coleen Burris said the homicide was solved due to the “outstanding collaboration of police and Nortaf.”

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...