The Kohl’s shooting that occurred in the store’s parking lot caused widespread panic among unsuspecting Black Friday shoppers on Thursday night. Police were forced to shoot a suspect after an officer’s arm became caught in the fleeing suspect’s car door. As reported by the Chicago Tribune today, three men have been arrested and charged as result of the Kohl’s shooting in Romeoville, Illinois.
The suspects in the Kohl’s shooting incident have been identified as 28-year-old Gerald Chamberlain, 51-year-old Robert Russell and 52-year-old Charles Hinch. According to the latest reports, the driver, Hinch, was taken to the hospital and he remains hospitalized as of time of this report. Chamberlain has been charged with theft and Russell has been charged with attempted murder, retail theft and obstructing an officer.
The Kohl’s shooting incident began when Romeoville police received a call from Kohl’s shortly after 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving about shoplifters in the store.
When police showed up at Kohl’s and attempted to confront Russell, the suspected shoplifter, he began to flee the store. Officers chased Russell, who jumped into the passenger seat of a car, authorities explained.
One of the officers was able to catch up to the car on foot, and while the officer attempted to handcuff Russell, he slammed the car door shut on the officer’s arm.
The officer’s arm was still stuck in the car’s door when the driver pulled away, dragging the officer.
Another officer on the scene ordered the driver to stop. However, the car kept moving and the backup officer fired three or four shots into the car, hitting the driver in the left arm.
The officer who was dragged during the Kohl’s shooting suffered a non-life-threatening shoulder injury and he was transported to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital in Bolingbrook, police said. He was treated for his injuries and he has been released.
Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey said the scene of the Kohl’s shooting was definitely a chaotic one. Regarding the Kohl’s shooting, Turvey said:
“We, then, were able to arrest the driver and the passenger and arrested the third subject who was still inside the store. This is definitely a rare occurrence. We’ve had shoplifting on Black Friday, but something like this is rare.”
Phil Koster, who witnessed the entire Kohl’s shooting incident, told media sources:
“Definitely not something I expected tonight. [I was] just doing some light shopping, trying to get in the Black Friday spirit, buy a few things. A little shaken up. Not bad or anything. I was within 5 feet of everything happening. It was very surreal.”
Kohl’s issued the following statement regarding the shooting: “A police investigation is under way into this matter. We are cooperating with the authorities leading the investigation and are referring all media inquiries to police.”