Black Friday 2013 Kohl's parking lot shooting: 2 men charged

Romeoville police say an officer shot a suspect in a Kohl's parking lot that was full of Black Friday shoppers.
November 29, 2013 11:26:57 AM PST
Two men have been charged in connection with the Black Friday incident at Romeoville Kohl's. Romeoville police say an officer shot a suspect in a Kohl's parking lot that was full of Black Friday shoppers.

Gerald Chamberlain has been charged with theft and Robert Russell has been charged with attempted murder, retail theft and obstructing an officer. A third individual has been arrested but is currently hospitalized.

Romeoville police say they got the call from Kohl's just after 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving about shoplifters in the store.

Authorities say when they arrived at the store, they saw one man running out of the front doors. Romeoville officers chased the man in the parking lot, but he jumped into a Pontiac Sunfire.

That's when one of the officers jumped in after him, but the man closed the door on the officer's arm, police said, and the driver dragged the officer quite a distance, as he was partially inside and outside the car.

Police say a backup officer ordered the driver to stop multiple times, and when he kept going, the backup officer fired three to four shots towards the driver.

The driver was struck one time in the shoulder area, and at that time, the car came to a stop.

"We, then, were able to arrest the driver and the passenger and arrested the third subject who was still inside the store," said Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey.

"Definitely not something I expected tonight. [I was] just doing some light shopping, trying to get in the Black Friday spirit, buy a few things. A little shaken up. Not bad or anything. I was within 5 feet of everything happening. It was very surreal," witness Phil Koster said.

A bullet hole was visible through the window of the Pontiac and shattered glass was all around.

The Kohl's store on Weber Road was open when the incident happened, and remained Black Friday.

All three suspects were arrested, and police said charges were pending against the three men from southwest suburban Joliet.

The driver was identified as Charles Hinch, 52, and the passenger was Robert Russell, 51. The suspect still inside the store was 28-year-old Gerald Chamberlain.

The police officer who was dragged was treated and released from the hospital.

The condition of the suspect who was driving was not known immediately but he was expected to survive.

Kohl's issued the following statement: A police investigation is under way into this matter. We are cooperating with the authorities leading the investigation and are referring all media inquiries to police.


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