Ex-boyfriend suspected in two murders

December 13, 2009 (CHICAGO)

Police say the main suspect was romantically involved with both women, and his alleged crime spree didn't stop there. They also say criminal charges are pending against the suspect, but his name was being released Sunday.

Investigators have yet to say what sparked the man's crime spree that resulted in the murders of Stephanie Reed and Tashika Smith and the shooting of his own 59-year-old father.

Sunday afternoon, police said the crime spree of the 37-year-old suspect came to an end only after he allegedly tried to rob someone at gunpoint and ended up being shot himself.

It was when Stephanie Reed's telephone rang and she didn't answer it, that the woman's family says an upstairs neighbor made the gruesome discovery.

"He heard a loud noise. He tried to call her and she didn't answer. When he went downstairs, he saw someone leaving and the door kicked in. That's when he saw her lying on the floor in blood," said Mary Reed, the victim's mother.

Relatives say Stephanie Reed, a 40-year-old mother, had been shot in the head after being attacked in her South Side home some time early Saturday morning.

Police sources say it appears Reed was one of the apparent victims of a crime spree of an ex-boyfriend whom she had dated for three or four years before, splitting with him in early October.

Reed's mother says the suspect began calling her last week trying to get back with her, but her daughter said no.

Just a few hours later, 38-year-old Tashika Smith was found strangled to death in her home in south suburban Steger. It's still unclear how long she had been dead when her body was discovered in her third floor apartment around 3 a.m.

Investigators are trying to determine if the woman was married to the suspect or a recent girlfriend. They say all of the attacks appear to be related, not random.

"We don't know all the relationships. But one was told to us to be his wife, in Steger, and another female was shot in Chicago," Chief Tim Curry said.

Before the murders of Reed and Smith, Maywood police were called to the home of the suspect's father. A female relative says the man forced his way in, had an argument with his father and shot him once in the neck before fleeing the house.

The father survived the attack and was taken to a suburban hospital in critical condition.

"He seemed like a nice guy. He always seemed respectable. I just don't understand what happened," Mary Reed said.

Investigators say, after murdering the two women and attacking his father, the suspect headed to a far South Side nightclub where he is accused of attempting to commit a robbery before being shot himself.

The strip club patron who shot the suspect fled the scene. According to a police source, the suspect has an extensive criminal record.

He remained hospitalized Sunday night.

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