CHICAGO — A 41-year-old man suspected of kidnapping a suburban couple was killed after being shot by Chicago police.
Just before 7 a.m. Monday, an off-duty police officer was driving in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood when he saw two people running down the street, handcuffed together, yelling out for help. The Elgin couple told the officer they had been kidnapped in the suburbs and brought to an apartment building in the 6200 block of West Grand Avenue.
Elgin police said the couple was kidnapped Sunday evening around 9 p.m. near the 100 block of North Porter Street. Their car was also stolen.
“When I saw the helicopters, I just said something bad happened right here," Julie Blaylock, neighborhood resident, said. "My daughter came out and she’s like, 'There’s cops all over the place,' and then I see just somebody shot, that’s all they’re saying. Now you know it’s a kidnapping. Now I’m scared.”
The off-duty officer who saw the couple running in handcuffs doesn’t live in the neighborhood. He was in the area coincidentally, and saw that they needed help. He called the 25th District for back up, and when they arrived, they went into the apartment building to make sure nobody else was being held against their will.
Authorities did not find any more victims, but did find a 41-year-old man. Police said an armed confrontation ensued, and the man was shot. He was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in very critical condition, and died later Monday morning.
Police are still investigating exactly what happened and if anyone else might be in harm’s way. Elgin police said the couple was familiar with the suspect.
When the pair was running down the street, police said they were fully clothed and did not look malnourished or beaten. Those victims are now working with police as the investigation continues.
“No visible injuries, they seem to be OK," Chicago Police Sgt. Cindy Guerra said. "They are shook up but they seem to be fine at this time.”
The former owner of the home said he sold it two years ago for $134,000 in cash to a man who had planned to live upstairs and use the downstairs unit as a storefront.
Neighbors said people could show up and give the man cash and he’d let them use the space for parties — even dance lessons, yoga or Zumba. It was also sometimes a makeshift bar, people going inside at all hours of the night to buy cocktails.
A woman who lives on the street said the kidnapping reminded her of an incident she had just a few weeks ago when a car cut her off and chased her down the street when she wouldn’t get inside.
“I had to run to my house. I was shaking. I didn’t know what the hell was going on,” she said.
Neighbors said this is a tight-knit community, with lots of children who live nearby. They are hoping police will eventually release more information about what exactly went on inside the home.
Police said they recovered a weapon.
The officer who fired the shots will be placed on routine administrative leave. COPA will also investigate.