Illinois Senate Majority Leader and husband hijacked in western suburbs
Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford and her husband were hijacked on Tuesday night in the western suburbs of Broadview with masked gunmen who stole her 2018 Mercedes SUV, police said.
Lightford and her husband Eric McKennie are unharmed, according to a statement from Thomas Mills, chief of the Broadview Police Department.
At approximately 9:45 p.m., three masked gunmen driving a Dodge Durango SUV stole Lightford’s vehicle in the 2000 block of 20th Avenue South, Mills said. Police in Broadview are trying to identify thieves with surveillance video, he said.
Mills said “several shots were fired during the incident.”
A police dispatch recording shows that police were initially confused as to whether the senator was a victim.
“All I got was a woman who didn’t give any information, saying she was in the vehicle that was picked up, doesn’t know what kind of car it was, said she was in the vehicle that was picked up. ‘there were gunshots,’ said an officer. “We don’t know if this is going to be in good faith or not.”
Minutes later, the officer continued, “She says it had something to do with State Senator Kimberly Lightford.”
The officer then told the dispatcher, âIt was a black Mercedes with a state senator’s license plate.
Lightford released a statement Wednesday afternoon:
âFirst and foremost, I am grateful that my husband and I are alive and physically unharmed. I am trying to deal with the trauma of what happened. I want to thank everyone who offered their love and their I especially want to thank Mayor Katrina Thompson and the Broadview Police Department for their prompt and thorough response. “
Lightford, whose office is in Westchester, has been in the Senate since 1998. In April, she made headlines after announcing she tested positive for COVID-19.
Chicago and the Cook County suburbs, particularly western suburbs like Maywood and Oak Park, have seen a huge increase in car hijackings in recent years, according to police officials.
Car hijackers revolve around expensive SUVs like Lightford’s car, according to police and the Chicago Sun-Times interviews with car hijackers.