Tragic, but I can't help but wonder why that honest Illinois citizen was carrying an illegal firearm on his person.
5 Dead In Tinley Park Clothing Store Shooting
Police: Gunman Still On The Loose
TINLEY PARK, Ill. (CBS) ― Five people are dead in a shooting Saturday morning at a Lane Bryant clothing store in a strip mall in Tinley Park, and police say the gunman is still on the loose.
The Will County coroner's office confirmed five are dead from the shooting at the Lane Bryant store in the Brookside Marketplace Shopping Center, at 7264 W. 191st St.
Will County sheriff's office spokesman Pat Barry said one person had been taken to nearby St. James Hospital and Health Care Centers.
When police arrived, they found multiple victims shot and killed, Tinley Park police Sgt. T.J. Grady said.
There are reports that robbery may have been the motive in this case. However, Tinley Park Police cannot confirm that.
The first call of shots fired came into police at 10:44 a.m., Grady said. Grady said the store was open at the time of the shootings, but declined to say whether the victims were customers or employees. He gave no ages and said authorities are still trying to reach the victims' families.
The shopping center is at 191st Street and Harlem Avenue is just south of Interstate 80.
Police searched neighboring stores in the center, and used a police helicopter to search the surrounding area, Grady said. Cars in the parking lot were also searched.
Witnesses said police locked down neighboring stores in the center and searched the stores with guns drawn. The emergency closed at least 10 stores in the area, frightening employees.
"We kind of like didn't know what was going on," said Mike Jones, an employee of the Taco Bell adjacent to the retail store. "They told us to evacuate where we were."
Grady said a search of all stores in the mall and an air search of the area indicated that the gunman fled. How the gunman was able to walk into the store and pull the trigger and able to leave the area are just two of the questions investigators are asking Saturday night.
He was described as an African-American male of medium complexion, standing 5 feet 8 inches and weighing 230 to 260 pounds, with a black knit cap, a black waist-length winter coat, and dark jeans, Grady said.
Greg Grace of Frankfort, who was in the parking lot outside Lane Bryant, said he saw several stretchers being wheeled into the store. The stretchers later were wheeled out — carrying no patients. Two large county vans backed up to the front of the building Saturday afternoon and a white canopy was placed over the front of the building.
"We're very sad about it," a clearly shaken Mayor Edward Zabrocki said from the scene. "It's ... we're a victim of our society that we live in."
Police were allowing some shoppers into parts of the strip mall Saturday afternoon, but had cordoned off the Lane Bryant store.
Patricia May says her daughter shops at the store all the time, and could have been there when it happened.
"My daughter is a Lane Bryant junkie," May said. "I went home to call her because she was supposed to meet me at Best Buy and when I came over here, they said it's a crime scene and I went 'yeah, right.'"
The Cook County Sheriff's Department was helping with the investigation, providing a helicopter and K-9 patrol unit Saturday, said spokeswoman Penny Mateck. Police from several agencies that make up the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force are investigating. They say they have no motive for the crimes.
Messages left at Lane Bryant Brand headquarters were not immediately returned.
Violent crime this this south suburb is very rare. There has only been one murder in the past eight years, and that was in 1999. Anyone with information is asked to call Tinley Park police at (708) 444-5368.