Gunman Arrested Following Shooting of Chicago UAW Officials

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

The man who allegedly opened fire on two UAW officials last week, wounding both, has been arrested and charged, Chicago police announced late Tuesday.

William Cowart, 50, was brought in on charges of felony aggravated battery and discharging a firearm in connection with the June 3 shooting.

The victims, Aaron Straker and Jeff Bacon, had just been re-elected as UAW representatives of Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant when they were shot outside the Local 551 union hall. An argument outside the South Torrance Avenue building apparently led to the shooting, which left both men with gunshot wounds to their legs. They were listed in stable condition following the incident.

Cowart, who fled the scene, was arrested at his Richton Park home the day after the shooting. He has since posted $50,000 bond and will appear in court tomorrow.

It isn’t known whether Cowart is an employee at Chicago Assembly or a member of the union, though his police mug shot shows him wearing a Local 551 shirt. Besides gathering for the election, union members held a cookout outside the hall.

Ford’s Chicago plant produces the Ford Taurus and Explorer, and the soon-to-be-retired Lincoln MKS.

[Sources: Chicago Tribune, Automotive News]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Walleyeman57 Walleyeman57 on Jun 09, 2016

    Workplace violence. My guess is William (aka Vinny)Cowart bought some folks off-but they did not stay bought. Shoot them in the leg?-that's to send a message.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jun 09, 2016

      @28-Cars-Later 28's version is more plausible than wallymans.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jun 10, 2016

    My Gawd! Who doesn't like Bacon? Oh. William Cowart. Apparently.

  • Notapreppie Notapreppie on Jun 10, 2016

    How on Earth did he dodge an attempted murder charge?