Suspects arrested in shooting outside mall

March 28, 2008 8:08:25 PM PDT
Shoppers and staff were on edge after a shooting at a suburban mall parking lot. Two men have been arrested by the Carpentersville police in connection with Thursday night's shooting in the Spring Hill Mall parking lot.

Juan Garcia and Oscar Jacobo, both of Carpentersville, were taken into custody Friday afternoon.

The condition of one man who was critically injured when shots rang out in the parking lot of the Spring Hill Mall has improved. He has been upgraded from critical to fair condition. The mall is located on the border of Carpentersville, West Dundee and Sleepy Hollow.

The mall remained open Friday as police continued to investigate. They have yet to determine whether this crime was gang-related or not, but here is what they do know: they say they know that the mall is not a high-crime area. They also say that they do not believe that this attack was random.

Shoppers who frequent Spring Hill Mall do have concerns for their safety on their minds since Thursday's violence.

"I was thinking of that actually just this morning about being in a large place, something like the Spring Hill Mall, where there could be something of this nature that could take place when you least expect it. It is very scary," said Dawn Milme, neighborhood resident.

Thursday evening, an unidentified 19-year-old man was shot in the parking lot in front of Kohl's department store. Investigators say the man walked into the store to get help after the attack.

While witnesses say two men are responsible for the violence, police are not confirming whether the shooting was or was not gang-related. Some customers do sense the mall has been changing over the last few years.

"I don't know that security would do that much more. I mean, maybe if there is the presence, but I don't think -- unless you have got armed security, which seems a little excessive, I don't think it would stop anything," said Kristin Geati, neighborhood resident.

Police say, because the mall is not a heavy-crime area, they believe that it appears the attack was not random.

Some area residents say the incident doesn't mean that the mall is unsafe.

"We have lived here since '90. This seems rather isolated," said Don Schmidt, neighborhood resident.

Police are still gathering images from surveillance cameras in the area but say that they have yet to determine if indeed their suspects are on those images or on those videotapes from those particular cameras.


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