Forest Park police have released new details about a shooting that occurred outside Walmart, 1300 Desplaines Ave., on the afternoon of Aug. 4, with the report indicating that the victims were followed into the parking lot, indicating the shooting was not random.
No one was wounded in the shooting, which took place in the north end of the Walmart parking lot and involved a black 1998 Chevy Tahoe that was being chased by what two witnesses described as a gold Cadillac sedan.
Inside the Tahoe was a 24-year-old driver and a 15-year-old boy, who the driver identified as his cousin. Both were uncooperative, said police, and refused to provide officers with much information.
The driver reportedly told police he’d driven to Walmart with his cousin to buy the boy a bicycle and was looking for a place to park when he heard a shot being fired at his SUV.
The driver accelerated and the steering wheel locked, he said, when the vehicle was struck by a round of gunfire. The SUV jumped a curb at the east end of the parking lot and struck a tree. The driver told police he did not see the vehicle where the shots were fired from.
Both the driver and his passenger bailed out of the vehicle before it hit the tree, but neither was stuck by any rounds.
Police reported recovering three 9 mm Luger shell casings from the scene as well as one projectile. Acting Police Chief Ken Gross to the Review that it appeared one round had struck the arm of a windshield wiper on the Chevy Tahoe.
Another round struck a blue Honda SUV parked in the lot. That vehicle was owned by a 34-year-old Austin, Texas man, who was with his family standing on the rocks northwest of the vehicle.
The witness said he saw a black Tahoe and gold Cadillac enter the parking lot and head eastbound. At some point the Cadillac made a U-turn in the northeast side of the lot and someone inside began firing rounds at the black Tahoe.
Another witness told police he heard shots being fired and saw a black SUV being chased by a gold Cadillac. That witness stated that he believed he saw the driver of the black SUV firing back at the gold Cadillac by the way the driver was positioned in the window of the driver’s side door, but that he did not actually see a gun or see shots being fired. The witness confirmed that he saw the driver jump out of the moving black SUV and that the gold Cadillac exited the parking lot westbound toward Desplaines Avenue.
Police also interviewed a witness who was taking orders outside at Portillo’s who said she saw shots fired from within the sedan at the black SUV in the northeast corner of the Walmart parking lot.
She also observed the SUV jump a curb and hit a tree. Simultaneously, according to the police report, she also reported seeing two people running in the vicinity of the SUV. One of the men, who was wearing a white T-shirt, was holding what appeared to be a gun, the witness said, because he was holding it up with both hands and pointing east.
Asked who might have been shooting at him, the driver of the Chevy Tahoe reportedly told police, “I’m a Latin King [street gang member], it could be anyone.”
Detectives were able to recover security camera video, according to the police report.