Calls for police accountability in highway shooting that critically injured woman


DES PLAINES, Ill. — Loved ones of a woman shot by an off-duty Chicago police officer last week say they are demanding answers, accountability and action.

The family of 24-year-old Lizbeth Urbina has filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago and the officer involved in the Stevenson Expressway shooting. The Little Village Community Council, the community where Urbina works, has also filed a request that law enforcement release all video and audio related to the incident. 

Lizbeth Urbina

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Woman in critical condition after shooting involving off-duty officer on Stevenson Expressway

According to Illinois State Police, Urbina was shot in the head during an incident involving her vehicle and the car of an off-duty police officer last Thursday night. 

The off-duty officer says that he argued with passengers in Urbina’s blue Nissan.

When both cars drove onto the Stevenson Expressway, the officer says he saw a green laser light pointed at him. That’s when the exchange of gunfire began, he added.  

According to the lawsuit filed by Urbina’s sister, the officer did not slow down to let the vehicle pass to avoid the confrontation on the highway. The lawsuit also alleges the officer admitted to firing the first shot. 

David C. Abarca

Urbina remains in the ICU at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. 

On Monday, ISP arrested and charged 22-year-old David C. Abarca, of Chicago, with attempted murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated discharge of a firearm. All are felonies.

The officer involved remains on duty as his actions are under investigation by COPA, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. 

“Rather than take actions to deescalate the situation, the officer, instead escalated the situation,” attorney Richard Dvorak said. “This is against Chicago police orders.” 

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