CHICAGO (WLS) --Chicago police continued to search Wednesday for the suspected shoplifter who fatally shot a Family Dollar employee in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
Meanwhile, regular shoppers remembered his friendly spirit.
"He was just good-spirited. He was just happy. I never saw him sad," said Latasha Washington, who stopped by the store with a card.
At about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, JQuinn McCune, 30, was working at a store in the 7900-block of South Ashland Avenue when he tried to stop someone from shoplifting. The offender then shot him in the chest at close range and fled, police said.
McCune died of his injuries. He was originally from Flint, Mich., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. His family from Michigan declined comment as they left the medical examiner's office.
Witnesses recalled the shooting.
"I walked into the store and all I saw were the bag of chips in the guy's hand," said Angelica Chancellor. "And he said, 'I am not going to jail over this,' and he turned and shot the guy."
Chancellor then ran from the store.
"I heard three shots. They sounded like firecrackers. And then the manager ran right past me. He grabbed my arm. He fell down, and he said, 'I've been shot,'" says a customer who was inside the store at the time. She asked not to be identified.
She and another woman tried to save his life.
"I raised his shirt up and I saw where the hole was in his chest. And I told her to put pressure right there. That's where we both started putting pressure, and I took my hands off and told her to leave her pressure on," she says.
McCune was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
"Literally I just walked out and just spoke with him, and five seconds later I see police pull up and everything," said customer Jade Peters.
Area South detectives are investigating and trying to determine if the suspect is linked to other Family Dollar robberies on the South Side.
"He shouldn't have risk his life trying to save that merchandise. I understand that was his job but his life wasn't worth that," said Arbella Roberson, a witness.
Investigators combed the store for evidence and scouring possible surveillance footage. They spent about three hours in the store Tuesday night.
"You can only run so far. There's cameras all over 79th Street right here. Your picture soon is going to be out in public," says community activists and crisis responder Andrew Holmes.
In a statement, a Family Dollar spokesperson said: "We are currently working with authorities in Chicago to fully understand the situation, and we are assisting them in every way we can as they conduct their investigation. As this is an active investigation, I am unable to comment further."