Two charged in Aurora carjacking and shooting that left woman paralyzed

The Aurora Police Department on Thursday announced that two people have been charged, including a juvenile, in connection with a carjacking and shooting in January that left a woman paralyzed.

Edward James McGee, 26, of the 15600 block of Turlington Avenue in Harvey, has been charged with felony counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed violence and possession of a stolen vehicle. He is in custody in the Kane County Jail, with bail set at $500,000.

On April 21, Aurora Police detectives took a 16-year-old juvenile into custody in Harvey. After review by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, the juvenile was charged with felony counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed violence, possession of a stolen vehicle, unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Because the juvenile was 15 years old at the time of the incident, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office has petitioned to have the charges upgraded to adult charges. A third suspect in the Aurora incident was shot and killed during an aggravated vehicular hijacking in Lansing. Detectives are still actively working to identify and charge the fourth suspect involved in the incident.

“That woman, 47-year-old Kimberly Weibring, is now permanently paralyzed from the waist down,” Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said during a press conference Thursday. “Let’s pause there for a moment to reflect upon this woman – who was minding her own business inside her car. She represents all of us who move through the world each day without harming anyone. Who, in a moment’s notice, become a victim of a violent crime at the hands of heartless evil-doers.”

At 4 p.m. Jan. 16, Aurora Police’s 911 Telecommunications Center received numerous calls for reports of a shooting and a carjacking in the Wendy’s parking lot in the 1200 block of North Orchard Road. When officers arrived, they found Weibring on the ground in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to her back.

Aurora Fire Department paramedics arrived on the scene and immediately transported the woman to an Aurora area hospital. Detectives learned that the victim was eating inside her SUV in the Wendy’s parking lot when numerous offenders approached the vehicle, opened the door, and started attacking her, Ziman said.

She was pushed over the center console, shot in the spine, then pulled from the vehicle and thrown on the ground. Weibring is now paralyzed and may be in a wheelchair for the remainder of her life, Ziman said.

Officers found a 2011 Ford Escape in the parking lot that was very low on gas. Detectives learned the Ford Escape had been taken in another aggravated vehicular hijacking that occurred near Barber Greene Road and County Line in DeKalb County.

Detectives learned that the suspects in that incident were also involved in other aggravated vehicular hijackings in the Chicago metro area, prior to the DeKalb and Aurora incidents. Detectives believe the gun used in the Aurora incident was stolen during another aggravated vehicular hijacking in the Chicago metro area.

Weibring’s vehicle from the Aurora carjacking was recovered on Jan. 20 in Harvey by members of Aurora Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The vehicle was towed to be processed for forensic evidence.

Detectives found bullet holes both inside and outside the vehicle.

“I am so proud of our detectives who refused to rest until they were able to bring justice to Kimberly Weibring and the many other victims,” Ziman said. “Kimberly is lucky to be alive, but she has lost so much because of blatant disregard for life and humanity. This incident has strengthened the resolve of all of us in law enforcement and our commitment to justice.”

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf covers St. Charles and writes entertainment stories for the Kane County Chronicle.