Chicago-area mall shooting kills 1, injures teen – Reuters

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — A masked gunman opened fire at a suburban Chicago mall, leaving a man dead and injuring at least one other person — a teenage girl who was found in the restroom after shoppers took cover, police said.

The shooter, in his 20s, opened fire just after 7 p.m. Friday near the Fashion Outlets of Chicago shopping mall food court in Rosemont, a village just northwest of the city, Staff Sgt. Rosemont Police. Joe Balogh told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday. Police did not release the motive for the shooting but said it was a targeted attack.

The shooter then fled in a car with “other unknown subjects,” he said.

More than two hours after the shooting, police stopped that vehicle on a freeway in Chicago, Balogh said. The car’s owner was taken into custody and questioned as a person of interest, he said. A firearm was seized as evidence, but no charges were announced.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the deceased man as 20-year-old Joel Valdes of Skokie.

A 15-year-old girl who was shot in the right wrist was in stable condition, Balogh said.

Officials said earlier that a third person had been shot and fled, but Balogh said no other victims had been found by Saturday afternoon.

After the shooting, authorities evacuated and searched the mall.

Luis Elijio said he and his family, including his 5-month-old daughter, were shopping at a store in the mall when a woman opened the store doors and shouted, “They’re shooting!” An employee locked the doors and those inside retreated to the back of the store, Elijio said.

“And right after that I heard what sounded like an automatic weapon,” he said as he recovered with his family in the lobby of the nearby Crowne Plaza hotel.


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Peggy P. Gilmore