No bond for Chicago Walgreens shooting suspect accused of murdering woman suspected of shoplifting

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 33-year-old man charged with murdering a woman inside a Walgreens store on the Northwest Side was ordered held without bond Friday.

Police said Louis Hicks was pretending to be a police officer. Just before closing time last Wednesday, police said a manager at the store on Fullerton and Cicero confronted 46-year-old Sircie Varnado, suspecting she was trying to shoplift.

The manager then called Hicks, who lives nearby, for help. During a confrontation police said Hicks verbally fought with Varnado, slammed the 120 lbs victim to the ground and pointed the gun at her face as he held her down.

"During the struggle, the victim's bag ripped open and there was some pantyhose offered for sale by Walgreens in the bag. The victim was yelling at the defendant to let her go," said Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy.

Prosecutors said Hicks pulled the trigger after Varnado called him a derogatory name.

"As soon as she said that to the defendant, he fired one shot in the victim's face from right above her," Murphy said.

Hicks then allegedly identified himself as a police officer before he ran off.

Varnado's family said he didn't have to kill her.

"I don't know why they would stereotype her but I do know he murdered my aunt. In cold blood," said Nydia Foster, victim's niece, last week.

He turned himself in to police Wednesday.

The manager is no longer with Walgreens, the company said in a statement.

According to published reports Hicks, who is a former security guard, has impersonated a government official before, and been arrested on that same charge.

It was also previously reported that police said Hicks had a a valid FOID card and conceal carry license, but a recent bond court proffer document revealed he did not. The document stated, "due to the defendant's felony conviction he is not eligible to acquire a FOID card or a conceal carry license."

According to officials, even with his prior record, Hicks was somehow issued a Permanent Employee Registration Card, or PERC card, by the state which would allow him to work as an unarmed security guard.

"The defendant's prior felony conviction should have prevented him from obtaining a PERC card," Murphy said.

Friday morning, he's back in jail charged with first degree murder, false impersonation of an officer, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Hicks was not a Walgreens employee, but the company says it's cooperating with the investigation.

"We extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to the victim's family. We are committed to providing a safe environment for our employees, patients and customers in the communities we serve and continue to cooperate with police. The suspect was not our employee. The store employee is no longer with the company," the company said in a statement.

Earlier this year, prosecutors said Hicks was suspended from a security guard job for violating company policy after chasing a suspected shoplifter into the parking lot and handcuffing them.

At the same Walgreens where he shot Varnado, Hicks allegedly had a confrontation with someone over a parking spot.

"Somebody, who I would refer to as witness 2, had parked illegally at this Walgreens while he ran into to use the ATM. His wife and three children remained in the vehicle," Murphy said. "And this defendant approached the witness' wife and displayed a badge and gun and demanded that she move the car."

Hicks is charged with first degree murder, false impersonation of peace officer and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
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