Authorities have some "very strong leads" in the Easter morning slaying of a Joliet woman and the wounding of her boyfriend during a shooting in Calumet Park, police said.
The woman was identified as 30-year-old Darlene Darty, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. She was a passenger inside a vehicle being driven by her boyfriend when they were shot about 4 a.m. while stopped at a red light at 127th Street and Marshfield Avenue, said Calumet Park Police Chief of Patrol Gerard Corrigan.
"Another vehicle pulled up and two offenders exited and shot them several times," Corrigan said. "They fled after the shooting."
The couple was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where Darty, of the 1500 block of Freedom Boulevard in Joliet was pronounced dead at 5:09 a.m. Sunday, according to the medical examiner's office. The boyfriend is in his mid-20s and was considered in "stable" condition this morning with gunshot wounds to the side and leg, Corrigan said.
Corrigan declined to give further details about what the couple was doing at the time but said no one else was inside their vehicle.
Police have "some very strong leads and good suspects,"’ said Corrigan, who was preparing warrants for two suspects as of 10:15 a.m. He said no one has been charged yet.
An autopsy Monday determined Darty died of multiple gunshot wounds and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner's office.Antwaan Bryant, 32, was shot in the hip and side during the incident and was grappling with the loss of Darty, his girlfriend for the last 12 years, he said in an interview today after being released from the hospital.
"I feel horrible, it's terrible,"’ Bryant said, describing here as "such a positive person."
"I don't know what I'm going to do without her."
Bryant said their only child, Antwaan Jr., who will turn 10 on May 2, asked him "Why did they do this to Momma?"
"I had to tell him there are some bad people in the world," Bryant said.
Bryant said he believes he knows two of the four assailants, who were in a small, silver-colored SUV and attacked him and Darty as they were on their way home from a nightclub."I grew up with them in Robbins -- we had our differences and somehow, they wanted me dead," Bryant said.
Bryant said Darty was the one behind the wheel Sunday morning.
"The car came from behind us. I looked in the side mirror and I saw the door open and then I saw the bodies," he said.
He shouted at Darty to "go" but it was too late.
"They saw me turn around and look and they shot her first,"’ Bryant said. "They just went straight for her head – boom, boom, boom."
Bryant, who was being interviewed by representatives from the Cook County state's attorney's office Monday afternoon, said when the attackers saw Darty slump over, they "panicked" and didn't have time to shoot him again.
The couple was trying to get onto Interstate 57 to go home to Joliet when the shooting happened, according to Antwaan Bryant's father, Adam Bryant.
Their vehicle, described by Bryant's father as a Jeep truck, received 15 bullet holes on the passenger side, the younger Bryant said.
"For some reason, God didn't want me to go," Antwaan Bryant said.
"She worked at a hospital,'' Adam Bryant said of Darty. "She was a church-going girl. Those are the things she liked to do -– go to church and go to work."