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U.S. Postal worker killed in one of two shootings on major Illinois highway


Jayla Shelton, 24, left, talks about her mother Tamara Clayton, 55, at her home in Country Club Hills, Ill. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. She holds a picture of her as a child with her mother. She is consoled by cousin Kamaria Hill. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS) (Zbigniew Bzdak / TNS)

A U.S postal worker was shot and killed as she drove to work during one of two shootings that unfolded just hours apart on a major Illinois highway, police said.

Tamara Clayton was traveling along the northbound lanes of I-57 when a gunman fired three shots inside her vehicle around 10 p.m. Monday evening.

Authorities initially believed they were responding to a single vehicle crash but instead found the victim dead in the front seat of her car from an apparent gunshot wound, according to a state police press release. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

The 55-year-old from County Club Hills, who was a mail carrier at Chicago International Military Center facility, had worked for the Postal Service since 1993.

“I wanted her to retire, I wanted her to see me get married, I wanted her to see me start a family. Like she is my absolute best friend and I lost that because someone decided just to take it away from me,” her 24-year-old daughter, Jayla Shelton, told the Chicago Tribune.

“She was always that person to brighten up your day.”

Just six hours earlier, authorities responded to another shooting on the northbound stretch of I-57, just miles away from where Clayton was killed. When state police arrived on the scene around 4 p.m., they found three people suffering from gunshot wounds.

That attack left a 38-year-old male in critical condition while two boys — ages 15 and 12 — were both in stable condition on Wednesday, according to state police. An 8-year-old, who was also in the vehicle at the time, was transported to a local hospital, but did not sustain any gunshot wounds.

Authorities said both shootings are under investigation and request anyone with information to contact the Illinois State Police. They have not said whether the attacks are linked.