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Man gunned down at Orland Square Mall

UPDATE: Suspect captured. Click here.

Click here to read what witnesses saw at the scene of the shooting.

By Dermot Connolly

An 18-year-old man was shot to death in front of shoppers at Orland Square Mall Monday night, and police are searching for his assailant.

Orland Park police issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for the suspect, identified as Jakharr Williams, 20, of University Park. Police said he is already wanted for a parole violation, and should considered armed and dangerous.

Jakharr Williams

Jakhar Williams, suspect in shooting death at Orland Square Mall Jan. 21, 2019.

According to police, surveillance video showed Williams fleeing the mall on foot immediately after shooting Javon Britton, 18, of Richton Park, several times in the chest at about 6:45 p.m. Monday.

Paramedics stabilized Britton at the scene before transporting him to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead.

Police Chief Tim McCarthy said that to his knowledge, this was the first shooting in the popular regional mall centered around 149th Street and LaGrange Road. It opened in 1976.

The mall was busier than usual Monday because of the Martin Luther King holiday, and police and SWAT teams responded to numerous 911 calls from shoppers and employees reporting the shooting, which occurred in the lower level near the food court. The victim collapsed outside an H&M store, not far away.

Police described the shooting as “an isolated incident” after witnesses told them the two people involved apparently knew each other. They said Williams and Britton were involved in an altercation before the man later identified as Williams pulled a handgun and fired multiple times, striking Britton.

Britton was seen stumbling sway and collapsing near an escalator, where police and paramedics found him and tried to save his life. Deputy Chief Joseph Mitchell told reporters Monday night that a bystander was grazed in the leg by a bullet, and drove himself to a hospital in LaGrange, where he received treatment.

State Sen. Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-17th), whose district includes part of Chicago and several south suburbs, was among the nearby witnesses and issued a statement afterward, saying he witnessed two tragedies.

“The first was yet another senseless shooting, as a young man was gunned down literally a few feet away from where I was shopping with my family, along with other families, at Orland Square Mall. The second was the loss of innocence that died in the eyes of the children who witnessed the horrifying aftermath of the shooting,” said Sims, who called for more “sensible” gun-control measures.

Numerous police agencies assisted with the search of the shooter, evacuation of shoppers and employees, and securing the crime scene. The South Suburban Emergency Response Team and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force are assisting with the continuing investigation.

edia Release

01/21/2019

 

Orland Square Mall Shooting

 

At approximately 6:44 pm, Orland Park Police received numerous 911 calls from inside Orland

Square Shopping Mall reporting a shooting just occurred in the lower level near the food/center

court.

 

Officers responded locating an approximate 18 year old male victim suffering from a gunshot

wound. Witnesses stated two males were involved in an altercation and one of the males pulled

a handgun and fired multiple times striking the victim. The victim was transported to the

hospital and where he was pronounced dead. The suspect was seen fleeing the mall on foot. A

second victim was located at an area hospital suffering from a graze wound. Numerous police

agencies responded to assist with the search of the shooter, evacuation of shoppers and

employees, and securing the crime scene. The South Suburban Emergency Response Team and

the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force responded and are assisting with the investigation.

 

Preliminary information obtained is this crime is isolated whereupon the victim and suspect

knew each other. The suspect is described as a male black, approximately 20 years of age;

approximately 6 foot 1 inches tall, wearing dark clothing and blue jeans.

 

Orland Square Mall was thoroughly searched by police and has been temporarily closed while

crime scene investigators process the scene.

 

If anyone has information pertaining t

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, police closed the mall and told customers and employees to shelter in place while the search was underway. Customers and employees were eventually transported to Art Van Furniture, at 151st and LaGrange Avenue. Police later determined after viewing the surveillance video that the shooter left the mall before they arrived.

About the time the shooting occurred, an Orland Park Village Board meeting had just begun in the village hall, a couple of blocks west at 14700 S. Ravinia Ave. The trustees and Mayor Keith Pekau cut the meeting short and postponed it until next Monday upon hearing the news of the shooting. The building was placed under lockdown for about an hour.

“It is sad that something like this would happen at all but today, of all days,” said Trustee Jim Dodge, referring to the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader who preached non-violence.

Anyone with information about Williams or his location is asked to call 911 or contact Orland Park Police at (708) 349-4111, or [email protected].

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