A 63-year-old man who was shot last Friday night at his girlfriend's Inverness home interrupted a burglary at her residence, he and his girlfriend said Wednesday.
Inverness police initially said that two men confronted the couple when they returned home the night of Friday, June 28, and shot the man as he walked into the home's hallway. Police also said nothing was taken from the home.
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But the man -- whom the Daily Herald is not identifying as he is a crime victim -- and his girlfriend, Dawn Rogers, told the Daily Herald on Wednesday that the two intruders were in the process of burglarizing the home when they got there.
The couple described a scary encounter between the victim and one of the robbers in the master bedroom, which was being looted of jewelry.
"Basically, it was an armed robbery. Attempted murder came later," Rogers said.
But Inverness Police Chief Robert Haas said Thursday that the department couldn't release all the information until it did a thorough investigation and never used the phrase "lying in wait" in a news release.
"They came in, They were confronted and the gentleman was shot. He was rushed to the hospital," Haas said. "The dogs tracked and they lost the scent. Anybody can speculate (how the men got away). We're reviewing security tapes."
Rogers said the couple returned to her home on the 100 block of Crichton Lane after dinner Friday. She went to the washroom and her friend went into the master bedroom and noticed a carry-on bag of hers on the closet floor, stuffed with her jewelry, she said.
Rogers said that as her friend came out of the closet, he was confronted by a man with a gun. The gunman told the friend to get down and as he did fired a shot, which grazed the man.
He was worried the intruder was going to shoot Rogers when she came out of the washroom, so he jumped up and started pushing the intruder out of the bedroom, she said. The gunman shot him again, this time in the left side of the abdomen, with the bullet exiting his body near his right hip, Rogers said.
The gunman fled, along with another man who was in the house. The couple later discovered the two men entered through a first-floor window by prying it open. They said a laptop computer and $1,500 are missing, but the robbers didn't get the jewelry, the couple said.
"(My friend) got them out of the house before (the gunman) could get that piece of luggage. In there was all my good jewelry," Rogers said.
The man was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge and released on Sunday. He was told the bullet almost hit vital organs.
"It missed everything. I got very, very lucky," he said.
In a prepared statement and in response to questions, Inverness police on Saturday night said the men were waiting in the home for the victims, shot the man in the hall and didn't take anything.
The couple said that account spawned unfounded rumors about what was behind the attack.
Inverness police say the shooter was described as a white man with gray hair, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, about 200 pounds and may be between 50 and 55 years old. The other suspect was described as a white man who stood about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and was thin.
Haas said his department hopes a composite sketch of the gunman will be available on Friday and that only $1,500 was confirmed stolen. The men broke in through a first-floor window, Haas said.
"I believe it's an isolated incident. We haven't had anything like this in the Northwest suburbs similar to this. Most burglaries are daytime instead of nighttime," Haas said.
Anyone with information about Friday's burglary should call Inverness police at (847) 358-7766.