Stories by Matt Masterson

Chicago Man Charged With Killing Roommate, Attempting to Conceal Body in Their Apartment

(WTTW News)

Anton Urbikas has been charged with the murder of his roommate after he allegedly beat the man to death and then attempted to conceal the body for days, using coffee grounds and other items to mask the smell.

Chicago Man Faces Gun Charge After Lake Shore Drive Shooting Critically Wounds 1-Year-Old

(WTTW News)

Jushawn Brown, 43, was charged Thursday with one count of unlawful use of a weapon following an apparent road rage incident earlier this week that left his grandson, 21-month-old Kayden Swann, critically injured by gunfire from another vehicle.

Teachers Union Asks CPS to Push Back Return Date for High School Students by a Week

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Teachers Union is asking Chicago Public Schools to delay its target reopening date for high schools by one week in order to allow more time to learn about coronavirus variants and current transmission rates.

1-Year-Old Shot in Head During Apparent ‘Road-Rage’ Incident on Lake Shore Drive

(WTTW News)

Police say a 21-month-old child remains hospitalized in critical condition following the shooting Tuesday morning near Grant Park. One person is currently being questioned in relation to the shooting.

Lightfoot Pushing for Foot Pursuit Reforms After Fatal Police Shooting of 13-Year-Old

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks at the New Life Church on Monday, April 5, 2021. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot says a new policy on foot pursuits must be put in place for the Chicago Police Department by this summer following the fatal shooting of Adam Toledo, one week after the boy was killed by a police officer in an alley on the Southwest Side.

13-Year-Old Identified as Person Killed by Chicago Police Officer in Shooting Monday

(WTTW News)

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability on Thursday said Adam Toledo, 13, was the person shot by a Chicago police officer in the Little Village neighborhood early Monday morning.

Shootings, Homicides Continue to Spike in Chicago Despite Overall Drop in Crime

(WTTW News)

Monthly crime data published Thursday by the Chicago Police Department shows there were 42 homicides and 233 shootings recorded in March 2021. Those totals are up 50% and 60%, respectively, when compared to March 2020.

Report: Progress Made, But Chicago Police Have More Work to Do on Consent Decree Compliance

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Police Department continues to miss more reform deadlines than it makes under a federal consent decree, according to a new report, though the city says it has tripled its overall compliance rate.

Illinois Led Nation in Criminal Exonerations For Third Straight Year: Report

(WTTW News)

Of the 22 exonerations recorded in Illinois last year, the vast majority were drug possession or sale convictions tied to ex-Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts, according to a new report.

Chicago Police Shoot and Kill 1 Man, Arrest Another After Armed Confrontation

(WTTW News)

One man is dead and another is in custody following a police shooting early Monday morning on the city’s Southwest Side.

Police Seeking SUV Involved in Shooting That Left 1 Dead, 2 Injured

(Chicago Police Department)

Chicago police have released surveillance footage of a vehicle that’s being sought in connection with a shooting on the West Side last Friday that left one man dead and a child and woman injured.

No Bail for Chicago Man Charged in Homicide Following SWAT Standoff

(WTTW News)

Joseph West, 30, was arrested Tuesday afternoon following a standoff with a Chicago police SWAT team at a South Side home. He allegedly admitted that he shot his girlfriend 10 times as she sat in her bed eating McDonald’s.

CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade Named Superintendent of Virginia School District

Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade speaks via Zoom with “Chicago Tonight” on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (WTTW News)

LaTanya McDade, the second highest-ranking official within Chicago Public Schools, will leave the district at the end of the current school year after being named superintendent of Prince William County Public Schools in Virginia.

CPS Approves August Start Date for 2021-22 School Year

(WTTW News)

The first day of school in the next academic year will be Aug. 30, marking a shift away from the normal start date of the Tuesday after Labor Day. Aside from the new start date, the 2021-22 calendar does not change any other traditional components of the academic year. 

Agassiz Elementary to be Renamed to Honor Harriet Tubman After Board Vote

An undated photo shows Agassiz Elementary School in Chicago. (Facebook photo)

After years of debate, a North Side elementary school named after a 19th century scientist who promoted racist ideologies will now be renamed in honor of Harriet Tubman.

Testimony Underway in Cook County’s First Jury Trial in a Year

Empty jury box area readied for members of the jury in the courtroom of Judge Vincent Gaughan at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

Opening statements and testimony began Tuesday in the burglary trial of Glenn Whitmore, one day after the court selected its first jury for a criminal trial since March 2020.

More Than 1,000 Medically Vulnerable IDOC Inmates to be Released Under Lawsuit Settlement

(WTTW News)

Following months of negotiations, a coalition of local legal groups on Tuesday announced it had agreed to settle its lawsuit after state officials agreed to improve the Illinois Department of Correction’s use of existing release options for medically vulnerable inmates with expiring sentences.

CPS Announces $24M Plan to Address Student Trauma, Mental Health

(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools released a new “Healing-Centered Framework,” which it said is a first-of-its-kind effort that aims to expand behavioral health teams to every district school and offer trainings to existing staffers on how to address students’ trauma, anger and depression.

CPS Data Shows Lower Percentage of Black Students Attending In-Person Classes

(WTTW News)

In total, fewer than 50,000 students have returned to the classroom, below the 77,000 initially estimated by Chicago Public Schools, according to new attendance data released by the school district Friday.

‘Serial Stowaway’ Ordered Held Without Bail Following Latest O’Hare Arrest

A 2019 police booking photo shows Marilyn Hartman. (Chicago Police Department)

Marilyn Hartman, the Chicago woman dubbed the “Serial Stowaway” for her repeated attempts to sneak past security and onto flights, has been ordered held without bail after she was once again arrested at O’Hare Airport this week while out on electronic monitoring in a previous case.

Chicago Police Officer Faces Felony Charges in Off-Duty Shooting

(WTTW News)

Kevin Bunge, 39, faces felony charges including aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm after he allegedly fired shots at two men on West Irving Park Road on Dec. 11, 2020.

CPS Leaders Set Goal to Vaccinate All Employees by End of March

Jeff Lorenz, a teacher at Roosevelt High School, receives a COVID-19 vaccination at his school on March 17, 2021. (WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools officials say they've offered COVID-19 vaccine opportunities to all employees and hope to get everyone vaccinated by the end of the month, as the district hits the one-year mark since the pandemic forced the suspension of in-person learning across Illinois.

CPS Targeting April 19 as High School Reopening Date

(WTTW News)

In a letter to parents and families Tuesday, Chicago Public Schools officials said their target goal is to bring back high school students on April 19, the first day of the fourth quarter of this academic year. But the teachers union says no agreement has been made for that date or any other.

Chicago Police Release Footage of Suspects in Shooting of Off-Duty Officer

A still image from surveillance footage released by the Chicago Police Department shows a person believed to have been involved in the non-fatal shooting of an officer on March 15, 2021. (Chicago Police Department)

Detectives are seeking to identify two male subjects in relation to the non-fatal shooting of a 32-year-old off-duty Chicago police officer on Monday afternoon in the Calumet Heights neighborhood.

Chicago Teen Charged in December Carjacking of Lyft Driver

(WTTW News)

Cornelius Carr, 18, was charged with vehicular hijacking and armed robbery after he allegedly called a ride-hailing service with the sole intent of carjacking the driver who arrived to pick him up.

COPA Completes Investigation Into Officers Who Worked Under Ronald Watts

(WTTW News)

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability announced the conclusion of its investigation into misconduct allegations made against members of a tactical team led by a disgraced former police sergeant, and has delivered its first report of findings and recommendations to Police Superintendent David Brown.