Police: South Side carjacker suspected in Summit store clerk murder

SUMMIT, Ill. (WLS) -- Police believe a vehicle that was stolen during a violent carjacking on Chicago's South Side Wednesday morning was used in a crime spree culminating in multiple armed robberies in suburban Summit about an hour later, one of which left a store clerk dead.

Police released images of the alleged shooter, an alleged accomplice and the stolen car Wednesday afternoon. The stolen car is a silver Pontiac Grand Prix, license plate number L925050. It also shows front-end damage as a result of the crime spree.

Police say the two men are armed and dangerous. They are asking the public to be on the lookout for them, and if you see the men or the car, call 911 or Summit police immediately. The FBI has also joined the investigation.

Chicago First Deputy Supt. John Escalante said the two suspects began their spree around 7:30 a.m. when a 27-year-old man was shot in the leg during the carjacking at in the 8900-block of South Chicago Avenue while pumping gas. The gas station manager said surveillance video shows the gunman rifling through the man's pockets as he lay bleeding on the ground. The victim was taken to Christ Hospital in serious condition.

Police say a few minutes the suspects, driving the stolen car, were then involved in a shooting near 85th and Mackinaw in which a man on a bicycle was shot and injured.

Then, police say sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., a woman in a car got into an accident with the suspects causing the stolen vehicle to sustain front-end damage. The driver tried to run down the suspects, but did not succeed.

At around 8:30 a.m. police say the suspects drove the stolen vehicle to the Shell gas station in the 5300-block of Harlem Avenue in suburban Summit, Ill., for an armed robbery.

About 20 minutes later, shortly before 9 a.m., the suspects drove to the Shell gas station in the 6300-block of Harlem Avenue in Summit for another armed robbery, in which the store clerk was shot. The clerk was taken to Loyola University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The Cook County Medical Examiner identified the victim as Ghassan K. Abu Jreis, 34, of Oak Lawn. Relatives say he doesn't typically work the morning shift, but was asked to on Wednesday.

His family wants to see the suspects caught.

"Everybody should be on high alert. The public has to come together to help put these guys away. They are monsters," says Jamil Salman, Jreis's brother-in-law.

"Devastated, very devastated. This is a guy that we see every day, that we know every day. It's just hard," says regular customer Nick Green.

"My heart goes out to them. I feel really bad for the family. May God put peace on them," says customer Steve Ross.

"He was loyal. Every time you see him, he always had a smile on his face. Even if he had a bad day, you never knew if he did or not. He was always smiling," Ross says.

Now his family is planning his funeral.

"He is the last person that deserves this. He's never been in trouble, not once," Salman says.
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