Murder suspect fatally shot himself on Metra train in Deerfield, coroner says

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Gurnee man fatally shot by police on Metra train in Deerfield
Jamal Parks, 32, of Gurnee, a suspect in a murder in Evergreen Park, was fatally shot by police Friday on a Metra train in Deerfield.

DEERFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- The suspect in an Evergreen Park murder fatally shot himself on a Metra train in north suburban Deerfield, the Lake County coroner said Tuesday.

Officers with the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force were tracking a suspect in the fatal Evergreen Park shooting and determined that he was onboard a northbound Metra train stopped at the Lake Cook Metra station in Deerfield about 10:30 p.m. Friday, according to Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy, a spokesman for the task force.

Officers positioned themselves outside on the platform and inside the train, according to the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force, which is investigating the shooting. Members of the Deerfield Police Department were called in to assist the task force officers.

When police boarded the train, the suspect, identified as Jamal Parks, 32, of Gurnee, ran to the train's upper level, McCarthy and Illinois State Police said. Some of the officers began to evacuate the train of other passengers while other officers pursued him to the upper level and tried to take him into custody.

Parks resisted, broke free, pulled out a gun and fired multiple rounds at officers, McCarthy said. The officers retreated to the lower level and there was an exchange of gunfire between Parks and police.

Parks was taken to Highland Park Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, McCarthy said. The Lake County coroner's office performed an autopsy on him Monday and determined Parks died of a single gunshot wound to the head. Initial reports on the shootout indicated the suspect was struck by police fire.

At least 40 other passengers were on the train, Milwaukee District North Line No. 2155, at the time of the shooting, Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said.

While officers had begun evacuating the train when they first boarded, there were still some passengers onboard when the shooting started, McCarthy said. None of them was injured.

The passengers were brought to a nearby Home Depot store to stay warm while waiting for rides home, Reile said.

Inbound and outbound trains bypassed the station while authorities investigated overnight, but were making stops at the Lake Cook station again as of 8:49 a.m., according to a service update from Metra.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.