Police describe shooting suspect

Report claims one woman survived Tinley Park killings
2008-02-05T00:00:00Z Police describe shooting suspectThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 05, 2008 12:00 am  • 

TINLEY PARK | Even as they released details about the man suspected in a deadly shooting spree at a suburban Chicago clothing store, police were tightlipped Monday about possible witnesses.

They refused to confirm a 33-year-old woman survived the attack that left five other women dead.

A members of a Kentucky family said their daughter was shot in the neck but survived the attack at the Lane Bryant clothing store in Tinley Park, according to a published report.

The gunman, who still was being sought Monday, bound all six women and then shot at their heads during the Saturday attack -- but one bullet hit the surviving woman's neck, The (Madisonville, Ky.) Messenger reported, citing a couple identified as the woman's parents.

The Associated Press is not naming the woman or her parents because authorities have not confirmed their information.

The suspect is a stocky black man, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, between 25 and 35 years old, who wore a black winter coat, knit cap and black jeans adorned with rhinestones on the back pocket during the attack, Tinley Park police Sgt. T.J. Grady said Monday at a news conference.

"Witnesses" told police the suspect had thick braided hair and a receding hairline, with one braid lying over the right side of his face at cheek level and four light green beads on the end of the braid. Grady, however, declined to say how investigators got such a detailed description or whether it may have come from a sixth surviving victim.

The lone survivor, whose full name The Messenger withheld because the gunman remained at large, is a student and worked weekends at the plus-size clothing store, the woman's parents told the newspaper.

She was released from the hospital and then spoke with investigators, according to the mother, who told the newspaper she has spoken to her daughter by phone. She said she understood her daughter was the only witness.

Tinley Park Police Chief Mike O'Connell has said the investigation has been "extremely sensitive" and that "we need to keep ... information confidential."

Federal authorities said Monday they are assisting the Tinley Park police's search for the gunman.

Ross Rice, an FBI spokesman for the agency's Chicago office, declined to elaborate on the agency's involvement.

Gayle Coolick, a spokeswoman for Lane Bryant's parent company, Charming Shoppes Inc., said Monday she wasn't immediately sure how many employees were working during the robbery or how much cash was in the store at the time.

"But certainly it was early in the day so one would assume that cash levels were pretty low," she said.

-- Associated Press writer Ashley M. Heher in Chicago contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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