Woman killed by stray bullet

A reputed gang member has been charged in last month’s fatal shooting of a special education teacher at a South Side realty business.

Authorities said the man opened fire on other gang members but instead fatally shot 58-year-old Betty Howard and wounded two other people May 29 in the Chatham neighborhood.

The man charged, a 23-year-old man affiliated with the Gangster Disciples, was arrested earlier Tuesday by Chicago police at a south suburban motel where he was hiding, law enforcement sources said.

Dominique Hodrick, of Chicago, was charged Wednesday night with first-degree murder, attempted murder, and other offenses. He’s due in bond court Thursday. He lives in the 7900 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue, authorities said.


Meanwhile, services were held for Howard Wednesday at Salem Baptist Church.

Howard was working at her second job, at the Kale Realty office in the 700 block of East 79th Street, when shots rang out in what police called an internal dispute within the Gangster Disciples.

She was chatting with co-workers when several bullets tore through the wall of the office, striking Howard in the head and grazing one of her co-workers, a 58-year-old man, in the abdomen. A 23-year-old woman was grazed in her left hand by the gunfire as she walked her dog outside the office.

Howard was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the two other victims were treated by paramedics at the scene. None of the victims was believed to be intended targets, police have said.

Howard was a special education teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy High School on the Far South Side and the sister of a Chicago police officer. For her second job, she usually worked at another real estate office closer to downtown, but she stopped by the Chatham office briefly to drop off paperwork when the shooting occurred.


Last week, Howard’s family offered an $8,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killer.

Cook County court records show the man in custody has been arrested several times since 2009. His most serious offense was a 2012 felony conviction for having an invalid firearm owner’s identification card when he was arrested a year earlier for carrying a gun with defaced serial numbers.

The gun charge was dropped, but he was sentenced to two years’ probation for the invalid ID card.

Source: Chicago Tribune