On Friday night, a gunman opened fire at a Nordstrom employee before fatally shooting himself. The shooting took place at the Nordstrom on North Michigan Avenue, in Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile,” a popular shopping destination. Confused Black Friday shoppers scattered, trying to flee Nordstrom and the shooting.
According to the Chicago Police Department’s chief of detectives, John Escalante, the 31-year-old gunman, was targeting a “girlfriend or ex-girlfriend.” Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, Escalante said that the Nordstrom employee is a 22-year-old woman. She was in critical condition when responders arrived, and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment. The gunman was found dead.
“She was working up on the second floor when he approached her, fired one shot, which struck her. He then turned the gun to himself and shot and killed himself.”
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) November 29, 2014
Black Friday Nordstrom shoppers did not know what to make of the shooting. Panic followed as customers rushed to leave the Nordstrom location. Michelle Smith and her daughter, Krystal, heard two gunshots while they were buying purses.
“It was a pow and a pow. It was a stampede coming down the escalator.”
Suzanne Nanos-Gusching was helping her daughter try on a dress for a sorority formal on Nordstrom’s third floor at the time of the shooting.
“We just saw people running out and they (the employees) rushed her to get dressed. They were adamant about getting us out of the building.”
An employee at the Nordstrom’s watch boutique, Michael Nelson, said that shoppers were fighting to leave before they knew the details of the shooting.
“They looked scared, people were falling over each other (to get out).”
NBC Chicago reports that no other people were shot or threatened. Crime tape remained posted around Nordstrom until 10 p.m. The female victim was a seasonal employee.
Shopper Bob Rogers says that an eyewitness to the shooting was surprised by the violence.
“I was right around the corner when an eyewitness came out. I said, ‘What happened?’ She said, ‘I saw somebody. I saw the guy pull out a gun, shot her, and then he then shot himself. She was shaken. Very shaken. It’s one of the friendliest stores there is. You don’t expect it to happen right here.”
This Black Friday has seen a number of unusual shut downs and incidents not related to the shopping holiday itself, as reported by the Inquisitr. Protesters in Ferguson shut down a local mall in protest of the decision on the Michael Brown case. Wal-Mart stores were also a target of protesters.
— Craig Newman (@craignewman) November 29, 2014
[Photo Source: Chicago Tribune]