Guard killed, customer hurt in Aldi shooting

December 6, 2011 11:52:36 AM PST
Chicago police are searching for the gunmen believed to be responsible for two Aldi store robberies within the last two weeks.

A security guard was killed in the most recent robbery near 90th and Halsted Thursday night after police say two robbers stormed into the store.

The gunfire rang out just before closing time at 8 p.m. Thursday. The two armed suspects attempted to hold up the store and began shooting. The store's security guard, 54-year-old Reginald Lanier, of the 11600-block of South Campbell, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 67-year-old woman who was shopping was wounded in the leg as she was trying to escape. She was treated and released from Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"I got hit in the leg, and then I went down. And that's when I realized that, 'Oh, you know, somebody is shooting,'" said the 67-year-old female shooting victim. "My back was turned because I was facing the door getting ready to leave the store."

A bullet went through her left ankle.

"It's like a little pain in my leg, and then you realize that you saw your blood. You realize, 'I've been shot.' Because before that, you don't really know," she said.

The survivor says she never saw the shooters' faces, just the back of one of them as he calmly left the store. With therapy, the customer should be able to walk normally again.

"They killed him. And to look back to see him laying, you would think that he was just laying stretched out asleep. You don't think that it's death on him. But it was," she said. "It could have been me laying next to that security guard."

On Friday afternoon, police released surveillance video showing the two offenders as they enter the Aldi just before the shooting. Police are hoping someone will recognize the men on the tape. Watch the video

Last month, an Aldi at 47th and Ashland was robbed. Police sources believe both robberies were committed by the same men.

Lanier's neighbors remembered him as a friendly neighborhood guy who was an avid Chicago sports fan. Neighbors say Lanier was at one time a security guard for Chicago Public Schools. He leaves behind a wife and a daughter in college.

Friends of neighbors of Lanier, a longtime resident of Beverly, were stunned by the news of his death.

"It's just like a relative of mine, because we are so close at church. Lanier, his wife is so sweet and he's going to be missed in the neighborhood because he is well known," said Ruby, who attends Lanier's church.

"Sometimes I would see him in his front lawn with his daughter, just a really nice guy," said Edward Murray, neighbor.

The Aldi store remained closed Friday. There was no comment Friday morning from the store manager; he only says the store will be open again Saturday morning. No description of the robbers has been released.

"It's a shame. These people are just trying to make a few dollars and come to work, and people try to take your life. We don't have anything. We're all struggling out here," said customer Katherine Wiley.

Long-time customers gathered outside the Aldi at 90th and Halsted after learning about the deadly shooting inside. They say the store is important to their community.

"I don't really know them by name, just go in and you kind of know who your regulars are," said customer Jerrie Loggins. "It breaks my heart, and it is terrible."

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