Chicago police investigating after couple found dead in Uptown apartment complex

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A couple was found dead in their Uptown apartment after a well-being check Sunday night, Chicago police said.

Officers responded to the Wilson Yard senior housing complex in the 1000-block of West Montrose Avenue at about 8:30 p.m. After getting access to the unit with the help of an onsite maintenance worker, police said officers found a 79-year-old man and 61-year-old woman in the bedroom dead.

Police said the woman had what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the side of the head and the man sustained trauma to the face.

The victims have been identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as Ocie Banks Sr. and Sheila Banks. The medical examiner said Sheila Banks died of a gunshot wound to the head, while Ocie Banks Sr. died of multiple gunshot wounds.

"We're just devastated. We're at a loss for words. I can't imagine-- talking to her every day, she had so much joy in her voice. 'Oh niece, I'm about to retire, I'm so excited,'" said niece LaToya Hambrick. "She was excited about her upcoming life. Just life in general. She had a wonderful life. She always worked. Ocie was a loving husband."

The building's management company said in a statement the apartment door was locked when police arrived, with no signs of forced entry. They said they are cooperating with the police investigation.

"Her son had come to the building. He had called police because he had been calling his mom and dad for two days and hadn't gotten an answer," said Gretta Carter, neighbor.

Family said the Banks, who were still married, lived separately but spent a lot of time together. The apartment was leased to Sheila Banks, who was soon to retire, and according to neighbors had hosted a card party Friday night. She was last seen by them Saturday night.

"I got home around 8:30 and she was coming in her apartment as I was going in mine," said Larry Burns, neighbor. "And she said, 'I got my laundry done. I got my comforter done.' She was in a really great mood. She had on a nice knit dress."

"Whatever happened it shouldn't have happened," neighbor Gretta Carter said. "Nobody is supposed to die... No one should get shot, no one should get jacked, no one should get robbed, no one should get beat. I think it's horrible the world we're living in."
"She was a bright woman and I just want to say she was really a lovely person, a lovely neighbor to have," Burns said. "I'm really sorry to what her families going through."

"She was a sweetheart," said neighbor Tilsa Montalvo. "She was so nice. I mean a lot of people miss her right now. A lot of people were crying because they couldn't believe it was her."

Montalvo, who's lived here for 12 years, says with recent violence in the area, she no longer feels safe.

"I'm planning to move from here," Montalvo. "It's too much. It's too much. Because you can't sleep you don't know who's next."

Meanwhile, neighbors said they plan to ask apartment management for additional security. They said they'd feel much safer with 24 hour security personnel, manning the front door.

No one is in custody and Area Three detectives are investigating.
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