June 21st, 2020 1:55 PM
Police vehicles sit outside the lower level entrance of J.C. Penney at North Riverside Park Mall after one man was wounded in a shooting on the lower level near the department store. | Bob Uphues/Editor
By Bob Uphues
Police locked down North Riverside Park Mall and cleared it of shoppers on a busy Father's Day, June 21, after a shooting on the lower level left one man wounded.
North Riverside Police Chief Carlos Garcia said that the shooting victim was a man in his 20s who may have suffered two gunshot wounds. The victim was "alert and conscious" as paramedics transported him to the hospital, Garcia said, but there was no immediate word on the man's condition.
Garcia said the shooting took place at about 12:25 p.m. near Kicks, a shoe store on the lower level near J.C. Penney, on the south end of the shopping center at 7501 Cermak Road. No one is in custody, and Garcia said police do not believe the shooter is still on the property.
A police K-9 unit was sweeping the mall as officers and mall security escorted shoppers and mall employees outside. Garcia said the mall was "very crowded" at the time of the shooting, and that police instituted a "slow lockdown" in order to clear the mall in an orderly fashion.
Garcia said that two groups of people who appeared to know one another were involved in the incident. Two witnesses police talked to were uncooperative, said Garcia, and left the property.
Detectives from the west suburban Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT) have been called in to assist in the investigation. It is unclear whether the mall will reopen today. Shoppers arriving at the mall are being turned away by police and security at the doors.
This is a developing story.