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Chicago man charged in shooting death of teacher

Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 10:37 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – A man charged in the shooting death of a 58-year old Chicago special education teacher on the city’s South Side last month admitted to authorities that he was aiming at a rival driving by when he opened fire, prosecutors alleged Thursday.

In a court hearing, an assistant state’s attorney told a judge about the events that led to the death of Betty Howard, who was killed when a bullet – allegedly fired from across the street – pierced a wall of a real estate office where she worked part time, struck her in the chest and severed her aorta.

According to a synopsis of the May 29 slaying that a spokeswoman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office read after the hearing, 23-year-old Dominique Hodrick was inside a building across the street when he spotted a man with whom he was having an ongoing dispute drive by.

“He opened the front door, pulled a handgun from his waist and fired multiple times at the car [the other man] was driving,” the spokeswoman read. One of the bullets struck Howard, another grazed the abdomen of a man in the office and a third bullet grazed the hand of a woman walking her dog on the street, according to the synopsis.

Hodrick was identified as the alleged gunman by police who recognized him from surveillance video, prosecutors said.

According to the office, Hodrick, when confronted with stills from the video, identified himself as the man in the stills as well as admitted that he had shot at the man in the car. Hodrick was represented by the county’s public defender’s office. An official with the office did not immediately return a call for comment.

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