'Our hands were covered with blood': Neighbors come to aid of Elk Grove shooting victim
Steve and Jane Bocconcelli were backing out of their Elk Grove Village driveway Monday on the way to a New Year's Eve party when suddenly the parkway outside their home became a crime scene in front of their eyes.
It was just past 6 p.m. An unmarked postal vehicle heading east on Brantwood Avenue passed their car on the right and then came to a stop, Steve Bocconcelli recalled in an interview at his home Tuesday.
"He's getting out of the vehicle, yelling, 'I'm shot! I'm shot!' and I could see blood on his neck," said Bocconcelli, a retired Chicago police homicide detective.
He said he helped the man, an on-the-job postal worker, lie down as his wife, Jane, returned to their house to fetch a blanket, a towel and an umbrella to shield them from a cold, steady rain. Drawing from his more than 36 years of police experience, Bocconcelli peppered the victim with questions.
"I wanted to keep him talking and concentrate on me, because he looked like he was going to fade out," he said. "When I opened his jacket up, man, I thought he wasn't going to make it because he was soaked (in blood)."
Bocconcelli said the victim mentioned a white man who had approached his postal vehicle in the vicinity of Smethwick Lane. The Bocconcellis said they also noticed that the victim's burgundy-colored vehicle had its right-side and hatchback windows shot out.
Across the street, Gary and Maria Pignato had heard what they thought to be fireworks, but they said Tuesday that when they saw the commotion across the street, they called 911 and then assisted the Bocconcellis.
"I tried to see where he was bleeding," said Maria Pignato, adding that police and paramedics arrived almost immediately. "We just tried to keep him talking."
Bocconcelli had nothing but praise for his wife and the Pignatos -- especially with the shocking sights.
"My wife did a really good job. She's never seen anything like this." Bocconcelli said. "Our hands were covered with blood."
Late Tuesday afternoon, Elk Grove Village police said they were still investigating the case and had no new information to add to a news release issued Monday night. They would not name the victim or suggest a motive for the shooting. The Monday release said that patrols in the area would be increased.
ABC 7 Chicago reported the victim underwent surgery and had stabilized. Investigators are following up on witness leads about a dark SUV that fled the area immediately after shots were fired.
This is the first known shooting in Elk Grove Village in nearly two years, the news release stated.
"Never in our 20-something years living here have we ever experienced anything like this," Pignato said. "It's so surreal."
Police asked residents in the area who may have had video surveillance devices to share images that could provide help in the investigation. Anyone with information should call authorities at (847) 357-4100.