Fatal Encounter: 18-Year-Old Allegedly Kills Uber Driver, Self in Tragic Turn of Events, Say Prosecutors

Fatal Encounter 18-Year-Old Allegedly Kills Uber Driver, Self in Tragic Turn of Events, Say Prosecutors

CHICAGO — 15 years ago, Mohammed Al Hijoj immigrated to the United States from Jordan and began working. In addition to being a part owner of a small limousine company, he was pursuing his PhD. Al Hijoj was killed in Chicago on December 3 while operating his Cadillac Escalade limousine.

Prosecutors accused Zayin Kelly, 18, of killing Al Hojoj after ordering an Uber ride with him. Kelly is on juvenile probation for robbery and served time in the juvenile justice center for carjacking in 2021.

An assistant state’s attorney named Anne McCord stated on Tuesday that Al Hijoj picked up Kelly and three other people in the vicinity of Kelly’s house and stopped to let them off in the 1700 block of North Lotus at approximately 5:36 p.m. Kelly’s detention hearing transcript supports this claim.

“With Uber, there’s a certain amount of confidence that the person you are being picked up by won’t rob or kill you. This defendant did exactly what he did, McCord asserted.

A witness, who was seated in an adjacent parked automobile, witnessed someone jump from Al Hijoj’s SUV’s back seat to the front seat as he raised his hands and was patted down by another car passenger. The witness heard a gunshot as he was running into his house and instructed his wife to dial 911.

After being shot in the right arm and right chest, the 39-year-old limo driver passed away.

Fatal Encounter 18-Year-Old Allegedly Kills Uber Driver, Self in Tragic Turn of Events, Say Prosecutors (1)
Kelly unintentionally shot himself in the right thigh as he and his companions fled the Cadillac, dropping the murder weapon outside the vehicle, according to McCord.

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“Dial 911! He yelled, “I shot my leg,” according to audio recorded by a nearby security camera.

According to McCord, Kelly returned home, threw away his hoodie, put on a different one, and asked a neighbor to drive him to the hospital. When the police questioned him about what had occurred to him, he had no explanation.

McCord claimed that after returning to the crime scene, Chicago police found the murder weapon and traced Kelly’s blood trail from the Cadillac to her residence.

Kelly’s bloody hospital robe and the DNA evidence found on the blood trail were said to match with a certainty of one in thirteen octillion. That’s thirteen, then twenty-seven zeros.

McCord cited other proof, including the fact that the shot was captured on camera, that the two casings discovered inside the car and the gun found outside the limousine matched, and that Kelly’s account was used to order the fatal Uber ride.

Assistant Public Defender Joseph Crawford, who represented Kelly on Tuesday, contended that while the DNA indicates Kelly was present, it does not prove he killed Al Hijoj. He drew attention to the fact that McCord had no proof that Kelly’s fingerprints or DNA could be located on the firearm.

Judge David Kelly rejected the state’s request for custody on the grounds of first-degree murder, murder committed while committing a violent crime, and armed robbery with a firearm.

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