A 21-year-old Chicago woman who works at Walmart, 1300 Desplaines Ave., sustained a gunshot wound to her foot, and the woman’s boyfriend, who fled the scene before police arrived, may have been shot in the leg, in a hail of gunfire outside the store just minutes after it closed on Aug. 29.
Forest Park police reported recovering 41 shell casings — from both handgun and rifle ammunition — in the parking lot near the east entrance to Walmart.
Witnesses told police that multiple people emerged from a white sedan with tinted windows and opened fire toward a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata that was parked in the fire lane in front of the east entrance.
The female victim, an employee of the store, said her boyfriend was picking her up from work and she had just placed one foot inside the door of the Hyundai when the gunfire erupted. The driver, whom police have not yet identified, sped away to the east with the woman clinging to the door of the car.
The Hyundai ended up crashing into a ditch east of the store while the offending vehicle, described as a Chevy Impala or Malibu, left the scene before police arrived.
When police arrived at the scene they found the Hyundai in the ditch with the female victim standing outside. Multiple bullet holes riddled the driver’s side door and window as well as the windshield of the Hyundai.
A visit to Walmart on Monday also revealed that more than a dozen rounds had struck the store’s façade, including ones fired through windows near the entrance, which had been boarded up.
Acting Police Chief Kenneth Gross told the Review he believed the shooting “was definitely targeted. This was not a random act.”
Paramedics transported the woman to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment of a gunshot wound to her right foot. She told police that people were still shooting at the vehicle after it crashed and that her boyfriend, the driver, told her to hand over her phone.
He took the phone and ran away to the south into the Jewish Waldheim Cemetery. A North Riverside police dog and a Chicago police helicopter assisted in searching the area for the driver, but were not successful in locating him.
On two occasions during that search police encountered a gray Infiniti driving in the area of the cemetery near 16th Street and Hannah Avenue. Both times a Forest Park police officer attempted to stop the vehicle, both resulting in high-speed chases that terminated eastbound on I-290.
A computer check showed the Infiniti had been reported stolen out of Chicago. Police believe the vehicle was probably driven by someone called to pick up the man who fled the scene of the shooting.
While police were interviewing the female victim at the hospital, a relative called the phone the woman had given to her boyfriend at the scene. According to the police report, the person who answered related that he had been shot in the leg and that he’d gone to an unidentified hospital for treatment.
Gross said police have not been able to confirm whether or not the driver of the Hyundai had been shot. The female victim reportedly was not entirely cooperative, and Gross said police did not have the man’s name.