Two people were shot, one of them killed, Friday night in a Nordstrom department store in Chicago. Police said the crime appeared to be a domestic incident, an attempted murder-suicide.
After the shooting near the Magnificent Mile shopping district of North Michigan Avenue, the crowded store was hurriedly emptied of holiday shoppers, witnesses told the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago Fire Department paramedics were called at 8:30 p.m. Central Time to 55 E. Grand Ave. with a report of two people shot, said spokesman Larry Langford. That is the address of the Nordstrom in The Shops at North Bridge, a “vertical mall” along Chicago’s premier retail strip.
Paramedics transported the woman to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and the man was dead at the scene, another fire spokesman said.
Chicago police confirmed to a local NBC reporter that the female victim was a seasonal Nordstrom employee and shooting domestic-related. The man shot her and then himself.
Tourists from Singapore told the Chicago Sun-Times they were in the mall and heard two loud noises.
“Does this normally happen on Black Friday?” the 34-year-old man asked. He and his travel companion asked not to be identified.
“I didn’t quite believe it,” said his 31-year-old travel companion.
“What an experience,” she said. “Welcome to America.”
Shoppers at the crowded store described panic and chaos caused by the shooting.
Michelle Smith, 47, told the Tribune she was buying purses with her daughter Krystal, 25, when they suddenly heard two gunshots right after the other.
"It was a pow and a pow," said Michelle Smith. "It was a stampede coming down the escalator."
Susanne Manos-Gusching was on the third floor with her daughter who was trying on a dress for a sorority formal at the University of Michigan when shots rang out. Soon after, employees were trying to clear the building.
"We just saw people running out and they (the employees) rushed her to get dress," said Manos-Gusching. "They were adamant about getting us out of the building."
There were no other injuries reported.