One dead, suspect arrested after Gurnee attack

August 19, 2011 4:57:39 AM PDT
One person is dead and a suspect is in custody following a deadly attack Thursday in north suburban Gurnee.

A second victim was hospitalized in serious condition. Police believe this incident involved three men and started inside a vehicle near a car dealership.

This took place near the 7200-block of Grand Avenue in Gurnee. The area was on lockdown for almost two hours.

Early Thursday afternoon, several blocks of Grand Avenue were closed off. They had reopened by 6 p.m. The area near the car dealership remained an active crime scene at that time.

Police say the victim who died was the driver of the vehicle. After he was stabbed, his car veered off the road and wound up on the front lawn of Anthony Auto Group.

Shelly Thompson works close by at the Goodyear.

"The guys were running around telling me shut the doors, lock the doors. I literally dropped behind the counter to the floor. I was scared to death. I couldn't move," said Shelly Thompson, who works at a nearby Goodyear.

Police said that just after 1 p.m., three people were driving in a Jeep Grand Cherokee down Grand Avenue about a quarter-mile from the car dealership.

"Three individuals were inside the vehicle," said Gurnee Police Commander Jay Patrick. "One of the individuals, for whatever reason, stabbed the person that was driving the vehicle. The vehicle veered off the roadway and ended up in the parkway."

Police say one of the occupants was ejected from the Jeep. The driver stumbled into the car dealership for help while the man who stabbed him followed.

Patrick said in a release that officers responded to a call of a possible shooting at the dealership at 1:16 p.m. Upon arrival, they found instead that two men had been stabbed on the road and at least one had run to the dealership for help.

"There's a lot of blood over there, like a big blood trail. I mean, I'm in shock right now," said witness Alex Estrada.

The man who was stabbed died at the car dealership. Police thought a fourth person was involved for a time, but they lifted the lockdown when it was determined only three people were involved.

People who live and work in the area said they had never experienced a crime like this.

"This area is a very safe area, usually," said neighbor Iyaz Shaikh. "I've been living here for four years, first time it happened around here."

"It was crazy. You come to work and half our guys were at lunch at the time it happened so they couldn't get back in. All the roads were closed out here," said Thompson. "It just really puts things into perspective."

Officers and automated calls warned nearby residents and businesses of the incident.

"The cops came through here and told us to close all the doors, lock all the doors, stay inside, so we did. We look out the side window here and there [are] policemen with M16s. We ran across the street here and grabbed one of the landscapers and sent them over here for safety. We saw them looking under all the vehicles. We figured, well, they're looking for someone real bad," Thompson said. "A couple of the guys from Anthony walked down here and said that a guy ran in there and was bleeding from the throat and had been shot, dropped to his knees and died right there."

Police determined there was not a gun involved and the men had been stabbed, not shot. The suspect had a wound to his hand when he was taken into custody, according to police.

Police said Thursday they did not know the relationship between the three individuals in the car. They did not have the name of the person who was killed, and they did not release the name of the person in custody.

Anthony Auto Group Thursday wanted to make sure customers as well as employees knew that this had nothing to do with the car dealership, starting about a quarter-mile away on Grand Ave.

The Lake County Major Crime Task Force is now investigating the deadly stabbing.

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