A man has been charged with multiple felonies after he was found to be in possession of 113 bags of heroin and a firearm while he was seeking treatment at Rush Oak Park Hospital for a gunshot wound to his lower right calf and foot.
At 10:52 p.m., March 12, witnesses observed Kari M. Lee, of the first block of South Parkside Avenue in Chicago, pull into the west lot of Rush Oak Park Hospital in a black 2007 Jeep with severe front-end damage.
Lee then began shouting that he had been shot and was taken into the emergency room. When police officers arrived at the hospital to investigate the shooting, Lee allegedly gave officers inconsistent accounts of where the shooting had taken place.
“He gave several conflicting stories as to what happened, indicating that he was at three other locations where he said he was shot,” Commander Paul Kane told Wednesday Journal.
Kane said officers examined the three locations Lee provided and found no evidence that a shooting had taken place there.
“There was no crime scene there,” said Kane.
Lee was also found to have been carrying 83 grams of heroin packaged in 113 individual bags, indicating to police an intent to sell. For the drugs, Lee was charged with possession of a controlled substance, as well as manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance – both felonies.
“People don’t carry 113 bags of heroin for personal use,” said Kane.
Further investigation revealed that Lee had allegedly been involved in a traffic accident minutes before arriving at the hospital and that the Jeep he had been driving was the same vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Chicago on Jan. 7, according to the police summary report. For driving the stolen vehicle, Lee was handed a misdemeanor charge for criminal trespass to motor vehicle.
Before reaching the hospital, Lee reportedly hit one parked car and one moving vehicle, while using the parking lane to try to pass other cars in the 400 block of Madison Street. The collisions caused extensive damage to the stolen Jeep.
“He damaged [the Jeep] to the point where the right front tire was underneath the vehicle, so he was basically driving on three wheels from there,” said Kane.
While investigating the vehicle, officers reported finding a firearm sitting in a pool of blood on the floor of the driver’s seat. Kane would not say if the police believe it to be the same weapon that caused the injury to Lee’s leg. For having the firearm, Lee received a further felony charge from the Cook County State’s Attorney for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
After being discharged from the hospital, Lee was taken into custody, was processed and held for bond hearings. Lee was also found to have been in violation of his parole, as he had previously been convicted for aggravated assault against a police officer.
Oak Park police are still investigating the shooting, according to Kane. So far, though, officers are unable to determine if the shooting actually took place in Oak Park.
“It was an unusual situation,” said Kane. “Obviously, it raises a lot of concern in Oak Park anytime somebody gets shot, but there’s no way to prove exactly where this happened.”