Stephen Shapiro Fatally Shot: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Famous attorney, Stephen Shapiro, 72, was shot and killed on Monday evening in his home, during what police say was a “domestic altercation.”

Authorities have Shapiro’s brother-in-law in custody. John Gately III is facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Cook County Medical Examiners Office Reported Cause of Death Was a Homicide Due to Multiple Gunshot Wounds

Shapiro, 72, was shot around 7:20 p.m. at his residence near Northfield, Illinois. He was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m. after a Cook County Medical Examiner released the report.

Shapiro’s daughter, Dorothy S. Lund, offered background information to local news stations running her father’s story.

Shapiro grew up on the North Shore close to Lake Michigan where he was a top swimmer at New Trier High School. He received both his undergraduate degree and law degree at Yale University, then joined Mayer Brown law firm in 1972. He left briefly for another job, but returned to the firm where he remained until the day he died.


2. Police Tracked Suspect John Gately III to His Apartment, Then Called The SWAT Team to Extract Him; Surrender Took Hours

Police started tracking Gately close to Shapiro’s home in Northfield soon after the shooting. They followed him back to his apartment building near Winnetka where they discovered he had barricaded himself from within.

A SWAT team consisting of 90 officers from Winnetka and the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System, surrounded Gately’s apartment for nearly three hours— some reports say. Gately emerged at 10:35 p.m. to surrender.

Authorities will not say what led to or motivated the shooting.

“I’ve never seen a gun ever in Winnetka,” said Aaron Goldstein, a neighbor to the suspect. “This is one of the most safest neighborhoods in the entire world.”

3. Investigators Returned to Shapiro’s Residence The Morning After he Was Killed to Collect Evidence; They Were Seen Snapping Pictures in The Driveway And Back Yard

Shapiro’s neighbors were shocked by the news of his death. “I can’t describe how upset we are in our house, and I’m sure up and down the block,” neighbor Marilyn Hiebeler said. “We all know each other and they were really lovely.”

“He was a nice fella, shared a lot of laughs with him,” said Brian Foley, another neighbor to the Shapiros. “This past Saturday we had a block party, he was there and as usual shared a lot of laughs.”

According to those who were interviewed, Shapiro had a son who recently passed away. He’s left behind a wife and daughter.

According to neighbors, police returned to the crime scene the morning after Shapiro was killed to take pictures of the driveway and backyard. Authorities say there is no threat to the public.


4. Shapiro Served as U.S. Deputy Solicitor General During the Reagan Administration

Shapiro served as U.S. deputy solicitor general during the Reagan administration. According to The American Lawyer, he has argued 30 cases in front of the Supreme Court and personally briefed more than 200.

Shapiro is author of “Supreme Court Practice”, which now has ten editions. It’s referred to as “the Bible” of Supreme Court practice by Supreme Court justices themselves.

A friend of Shapiro’s who also worked at Mayer Brown law firm, said that Stephen had recently handed in his chapters for the 11th version.

Shapiro and two others built a 60-plus member appellate unit at their firm that became the most successful private Supreme Court practice in the country.

Shapiro’s last oral argument occurred less than two weeks before his death.


5. Shapiro Was One of The Most Accomplished Appellate Lawyers in The United States: Mayer Brown

Shapiro started with Mayer Brown in 1972 and made partner by ’78. He then left briefly to serve in the Solicitor General’s Office under the Reagan Administration. Shapiro rejoined Mayer Brown in ’83 to pioneer “the first private practice in Big Law.”

Three years after going back to the firm, Shapiro was joined by Andrew Frey and Kenneth Geller, who worked with him in the Solicitor General’s Office. The three men formed one of the most successful Supreme Court practices in the U.S.

According to a report published by Reuters in 2014, “their appeals were at least six times more likely to be accepted by the court than were all others filed by private lawyers.” (That data was collected over a nine year span.)

Shapiro, Frey and Geller were responsible for 43 percent of the cases the Supreme Court chose to decide from 2004 through 2012.

“They basically are just a step ahead of us in identifying the cases that we’ll take a look at,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy.

A memorial service is being held for Shapiro on Monday, August 20th, 4 p.m. at Christ Church in Winnetka.