Chicago Water Department Employee Shot

Incident marks the second time in just over a month that a water utility employee in the US has been shot while on the job

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Usually when water utility employees receive job safety training, coming face to face with a gunman doesn’t come up as a likely scenario. However, in just over a month two water utility employees in the U.S. have been shot in the face while on the job.

Last Friday, Oct. 23, a City of Chicago Water Department worker was shot just before 8 a.m. shortly after arriving to the sewer repair project job site in the South Side Auburn-Gresham neighborhood — “fired on … while getting ready to set up for the day,” a water department spokesperson described.

Witnesses say the 28-year-old worker was sitting behind the wheel of a parked minivan when another car pulled up and started shooting; the victim was struck in the cheek and was last reported to be in serious condition.

“Soon as (the water utility worker) parked, the gray four-door silver car just pulled up next to him, just started shooting for no apparent reason,” says LaVerna Dungey, who called 911 after witnessing the shooting. “They had just pulled up. Guy in the van couldn’t have been sitting there two seconds.”

NBC Chicago reports that a man who claims to be the victim’s brother declined to comment on the shooting, but said his brother is going to be OK. Chicago Police are investigating the incident.

Just over a month earlier, on Sept. 22, an Austin, Texas, water utility employee was shot in the face and robbed while working on a water meter, The Statesmen reported.

The 69-year-old employee was released from the hospital a few hours after the shooting, treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries. The worker “was only grazed by the bullet,” a city official said, and he required a few stitches. 

The employee, a 20-year veteran of Austin Water, was removing a meter for an accuracy check at a Dairy Queen in East Austin at the time of the alleged armed robbery, around 5 a.m.

Source: ABC Chicago, NBC Chicago


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