"I was just coming down the escalator from Starbucks and there are all of these cops coming down with giant guns," said one mall customer.
When the 9-1-1 call first came in from Oakbrook Center just after 3:30 Sunday afternoon, police say the report was of an active shooter at the mall....as expected that prompted a large and immediate response. As it turns out the shooter was a jewelry store security guard trying to foil an attempted robbery by three individuals.
"One individual armed with a sledgehammer approached one of the counters and smashed it in. There was a confrontation between the individual with the sledgehammer and the security guard at which time he discharged his weapon," said Chief James Krueger.
The jewelry store is a branch of CD Peacock. Police say there were ten customers and six employees in the store at the time, but only one of the would-be robbers was injured. The other two escaped in what now appears to be an SUV stolen from the mall's parking lot. The whole incident was over in a matter of minutes, but the mall went on immediate alert.
"The mall activated its active shooter emergency plan where they ask customers to stay in the stores until there was an all-clear," Chief Krueger said.
"They didn't tell us anything. They just went and locked the doors on us," said shopper Jada Roscon.
Later both shoppers and store employees said, because no one really knew what was happening, there was confusion but no panic. "Management kept us all calm, telling us there was no danger where we were. It's scary seeing officers with guns going through the store, but we knew we were in good hands," said one mall worker.
The wounded man was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove. He has undergone surgery and is under police guard.
Oak Brook Police are reviewing video from the store and other areas around the shopping center.