FORD HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) --A man wanted in in the murder of a Canadian National Railroad security guard last weekend in south suburban Harvey was still at large following an extensive search that placed schools in Ford Heights on lockdown for a little over an hour on Thursday afternoon.
The Ford Heights School District was informed at 2 p.m. that the suspect was spotted in the area, prompting the lockdown, the district superintendent said. The lockdown was lifted shortly after 3 p.m.
A total of two schools and four other education sites were locked down, which was triggered when a woman called and said she saw a man fitting the description of murder suspect Rashad Williams. Police flooded the neighborhood looking for him.
"Yeah, it's definitely scary that a person like that could do something to somebody like that and then come around a school district and think that it's okay to be around kids," said one parent whose children were affected.
Police said they believe the spotting was bonafide and fanned out across the area, knocking on doors and talking to residents.
Police obtained an arrest warrant Wednesday for Williams, 24, of East Hazel Crest, according to Harvey city spokesman Sean Howard.
"I want them to find him, so we can all stay safe. My street is a nice, calm street, and I want to keep it that way," said Geneva T. Brown, Ford Heights residents.
But after hours of searching, there was still no sign of Williams.
"They exhausted that particular lead, and I'm sure there are others. We're getting a lot of phone calls here. We're out in four or five different municipalities," said said Sean Howard, City of Harvey spokesman.
"At this time I would like to extend a personal challenge to Mr. Williams to do what's right and turn yourself in," said Deputy Chief Gregory Thomas.
On Nov. 26, around 4 p.m., a woman called police to report a man stealing her car, Howard said. The woman was able to get in another car and followed the man while speaking with police. After hearing police sirens and realizing he was being followed, Williams crashed the stolen car near 159th Street and Park.
Williams then ran towards the viaduct on the nearby railroad where he saw the Canadian National Railroad security guard working at an intermodal facility in a vehicle, said Howard and CN spokesman Patrick Waldron.
The guard, 38-year-old Tyrone Hardin, was found shot in the abdomen and was taken to South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, where he was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m., according to Howard and the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Williams stole Hardin's vehicle, but then abandoned it in the 100 block 171st Street in East Hazel Crest, according to Howard.
Hardin, a Merrillville, Indiana, resident was working a second job as a security guard to earn enough money to provide a nice Christmas for his family.
"He assured me it wasn't dangerous," his wife, Gwinette Oliver, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He said the worst thing is 'I might get chewed up by one of the coyotes that come up there'."
Hardin had a 5-year-old son with the 40-year-old Oliver, and was stepfather to her four other children. He also had a son from a previous marriage.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.