The family of Tracey Showers, a 55-year-old mother of three shot to death in late February outside her Austin home, said they feel a bit of relief after someone was charged in the case.
Baseer Muhammad, 23, has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault, possessing a stolen car and reckless discharge of a gun, police said. A judge ordered him held without bail this week.
On Feb. 28, Showers was sitting in her car outside her West Side home with her daughter, Janea Kitchen, in the backseat. Someone fired shots and Showers was hit in the head.
Prosecutors last week said Muhammad and another man stole a car in nearby Oak Park. Muhammad then went on a “spree” where, at one point, he fired shots at one car — not hitting anyone — and drove to Austin, prosecutors said. He parked behind Showers car as she pulled up to her home and shot once at her car, hitting Showers, prosecutors said at a hearing last week.
Police were able to identify Muhammad with various surveillance videos, and shell casings were found in the car, police said. The shell casings were tied to the gun used to kill Showers, which was found with Muhammad when he was arrested in an unrelated incident a few days after the shooting, prosecutors said.
Showers’ family and faith leaders praised her as someone who had dedicated her life to helping West Siders in need. They offered a $10,000 reward in hopes of finding the person who shot her.
“The light that shines so bright in my family dimmed,” her husband, Pernell Showers, said at the time. “This community will suffer because Tracey is not in it. She spent many years serving the community and tirelessly working to make sure everyone had something.”
Rev. Ira Acree, pastor of Greater St. John Bible Church, previously said Showers kept church missions going during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic by giving away food and clothing and providing other church services. He wants her to be remembered by the Austin community as a person who provided hope, he said.
“She saved so many lives and made our church more relevant than ever,” Acree said. “She was one of the people pivotal to keeping these doors open. She risked her life in the middle of a pandemic to help people out.”
This week, Pernell Showers said he and his family hope for justice and are doing their best to heal from their loss. They hope someone is held accountable, he said.
Acree said while the arrest will not bring Tracey Showers back, it offers closure to the family.
“I am glad the wheels of justice are rolling,” Acree said. “We’re grateful for the hard work of the detectives, and hopefully this gives hope to others in our city who have unsolved homicides for their loved ones.”
Acree’s church has created the Tracey Showers Faithful Servant Award, which will be given annually to a woman in the community who provides outstanding public service to the community, he said.