CALUMET CITY, Ill. (WLS) — After a security guard was shot and killed at the River Oaks Mall in south suburban Calumet City on Wednesday, police are now looking for several people who are still at large.
The security guard’s name has not been made public yet, but police have confirmed that he is 57. Sources told ABC7 Chicago that the shooting was done by armed thieves who got away with a lot of jewellery.
The jewellery store owner said he was sad about what happened.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Calumet City Police Chief Kevin Kolosh said police were called to the mall at 12:15 p.m. because shots had been fired there.
The gunfire in the middle of the day brought a lot of police and made shoppers and mall workers run for safety.
“All I heard were gunshots, and my coworkers and customers and I just ran for cover,” said George Brown, who works in the mall next to the jewellery store where gunfire broke out.
Tracy McGrew, who was shopping, hid in a nearby storage closet.
“When the first round went off, we all looked at each other like, “What was that?” I know those sounds in the mall aren’t gunshots, “McGrew said. “The next time it went off, it was just crazy. The first thing that came to mind was a crazy person shooting up a mall.”
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Officials said that about 20 Calumet City police officers were at a training session for an active shooter at the mall and that they quickly responded.
Kolosh said that when those officers found a male security guard with multiple gunshot wounds, they acted quickly to save his life until paramedics arrived. A second man, who police say is 81 years old, had a small cut on his hand from broken glass, which was treated at the scene.
Brown said, “I saw the security guard on the ground, and the police were trying to get him back, you know, back together.” “The guard is a good person. Every morning he comes in, talks, jokes, and talks about sports. He was a good guy, and he’s heartbroken that this happened.”
While that guard was being taken to the hospital, other criminals were being looked for. But no one was caught after police searched the mall for an hour.
At the hospital, the guard died.
Sources tell ABC7 Chicago that thieves were after the store, even though the police won’t say why. Police said that the suspects left in a car and are not being held at this time.
Sean Howard, a spokesman for Calumet City, said that the mall has always been a source of worry about crime and safety.
“We’ve been talking about taking over this mall for a long time, especially to make it safer and more secure,” Howard said. “We’ve only asked them to do a few things; some have been done, and some haven’t been.”
When asked for a comment, River Oaks Centre owners didn’t answer immediately. The mall is closed, and no one knows when it will return to business. Officials from the city said they wouldn’t let the mall reopen until they get a list of things they want, like more cameras.
Howard said, “We won’t give up on trying to take over this mall because these owners haven’t been excellent neighbours to our people.”
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