CPD: No public threat after State St. shooting

May 7, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The gunman shot his ex-girlfriend before turning the gun on himself in the murder-suicide, police said. The public was never in danger, according to officials.

The Cook County medical examiner identified the dead as 22-year-old Tranesha Palms and 27-year old Eugene Robertson. They lived in the Beverly neighborhood and had a child together.

The shooting happened shortly before 11a.m. Friday in the employee break room in the basement of the Old Navy store at 35 N. State Street. Police were on the scene in seconds, but the victim, who worked at the clothing store, was already dead.

"I didn't realize what was going on until people burst out the door, then I realized something bad was happening," said Mike, Old Navy customer.

"We saw maybe 4-5 cops come in with guns drawn. I had a camera under here. I got frisked, they looked at it to make sure it wasn't a gun," said Minh Dang, Old Navy customer.

"Police officers ran into the store, they had their guns and were like get out, get out. One of the managers pulled my arm and said 'You need to get out of the store right now,'" said Sophia Rush, Old Navy customer.

Police said the victim had recently broken up with the gunman and moved out of their home. The two have a 2-year-old child together, according to sources. Police were originally worried about the toddler's wellbeing, but the child was found with the maternal grandmother.

Crowds swelled around the store and police tried to downplay the crime on one of the city's' highest profile streets.

"They knew each other, it is our understanding. There's no random shooter out there, no lone gunman running around the Loop putting anyone else in danger," said Chief Gene Williams, Chicago Fire Department.

Even though this wasn't a random attack, it's still a cause for concern in a city besieged by gun violence. Dang and his wife are visiting from San Francisco and were inside the Old Navy store. "It's an interesting introduction to the city, but I know it's not typical," said Dang.

Customers inside the Old Navy store say they had no idea there had been a shooting in the basement. They credit the store manager with emptying the store quickly and professionally.

Many of those shopping didn't even realize there had been gunfire until after they got outside and heard from police.

One woman said police had been called to the couple's home and that she had heard signs of trouble.

"Arguing. A couple of tussling that you would hear but I didn't think it was nothing negative like, you know, that tragedy that just happened," said Marilyn Watson, neighbor.

Police said the couple's child was with a grandmother during the shooting and is okay.

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