Aurora native shot outside Naperville school while waiting for son, age 4

 
 
Updated 1/28/2017 6:13 PM
hello
  • Naperville police Saturday still were searching for the person who shot and killed a 37-year-old Oswego man Friday night while he was waiting in this school parking lot to pick up his son from Polish class.

      Naperville police Saturday still were searching for the person who shot and killed a 37-year-old Oswego man Friday night while he was waiting in this school parking lot to pick up his son from Polish class. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

A Lewis University psychology professor waiting in a Naperville middle school parking lot to pick up his 4-year-old son from a weekly Polish culture class Friday night was shot multiple times and killed.

Police identified the victim as Matthew Lange, 37. Police Chief Bob Marshall said Saturday afternoon there is no one in custody, but he reiterated earlier statements that police do not believe there is a threat to the general public.

Investigators recovered shell casings at the scene, but Marshall would not comment on any additional evidence collected.

Lange, an assistant professor of psychology at the Romeoville campus, was at Scullen Middle School at 2815 Mistflower Lane to pick up his son from the weekly class, family members said.

Police said Lange had been shot multiple times in the head. Lange was taken to Edward Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Attempts to reach the Will County coroner's office were unsuccessful.

Lange's father David Lange said his son was an easygoing man and devoted father who was an Aurora native and graduate of West Aurora High School. His father, who is a retired teacher, said his son was a naturally gifted teacher who never stopped wanting to learn himself.

Lewis University officials said Lange was the director of the school's Accelerated Psychology Program and taught undergraduate courses, including personality and adult development.

"Lewis University Community extends our deepest sympathy and prayerful consolation to the family and friends of Matthew Lange during this period of bereavement," the school wrote in a statement Saturday night.

On his introductory page on the university's website, Matthew Lange describes his teaching style as "interactive with a focus on applying course topics to real life examples. My personal research interests include academic motivation and learning."

"He always had an interest in what made people learn and how people learn," David Lange said. "But when (his son) came along, he was pretty much everything to him."

David Lange said his son's ex-wife had signed the boy up for the classes and Matthew Lange picked his child up there "every other Friday." Kendall County court records show Lange's ex-wife filed for divorce in 2013 and it was finalized in 2015.

Naperville school officials said two outside organizations were meeting inside the school at the time of the shooting and an "after-school club was concluding its activity."

Police Chief Marshall said investigators had interviewed multiple people who were at the scene, but no one who actually witnessed the shooting.

The crime scene was quiet Saturday morning. Naperville patrol officers restricted entrance to the front parking lot of the middle school, where yellow crime scene tape blocked a wide section of pavement. Detectives, who investigated into the early morning hours, were not at the scene.

The affluent Tall Grass neighborhood wraps around the middle school. Residents described the neighborhood as quiet and relatively crime free.

Lucy Lane, 18, who lives in the neighborhood and once attended the middle school, was surprised when she heard about the shooting.

"It's a really safe neighborhood," Lane said. "There's really no crime. If anything, it's someone stole something from a front yard."

Lane said her mother warned her to be aware of her surroundings, despite the police reassurances.

"I'm just unsure because they didn't catch the guy," she said. "Everyone on Facebook was like 'Is the guy running around loose?'"

Anyone who may have information is asked to contact the Naperville Police Department at (630) 420-6666 or Naperville Crime Stoppers at (630) 420-6006.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.