Calm returns to scene of Rolling Meadows shooting, but questions remain

  • Rolling Meadows police, assisted by Arlington Heights police, investigate a shooting in a shopping center parking lot about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

      Rolling Meadows police, assisted by Arlington Heights police, investigate a shooting in a shopping center parking lot about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. James Kane | Staff Photographer

 

A day after a 24-year-old man was shot in the abdomen in the parking lot of a Rolling Meadows Walmart Saturday, shoppers returned to normal shopping Sunday, either unaware of the incident or, feeling it was an isolated occurrence, secure about their safety.

But questions lingered, with police providing no new information on Sunday regarding the incident.

Police said Saturday that an initial investigation indicated the shooting was the result of a dispute involving a custody exchange of a child.

The dispute began as a fight in the parking lot, which escalated to shots being fired between individuals involved in the dispute, according to a news release from the Rolling Meadows Police Department.

Officers responded to the store at 1460 Golf Road at approximately 4:35 p.m.

Police quickly gained control of the scene, the release said, and found the 24-year-old man, who was taken to an area hospital with injuries "not expected to be life-threatening."

The incident created commotion on the scene Saturday.

A witness, Kenny Namiki of Schaumburg, kitchen manager at the nearby Sushi Station, said he saw someone running toward his vehicle, with another person firing shots at him.

He ran back inside the rear of the restaurant and locked the door.

Later he found a bullet hole in the front passenger door of his car, with a shell in the parking lot nearby.

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Police taped off a large portion of the parking lot as they investigated where shots might have gone and questioned witnesses.

Some shoppers were concerned about when they would be able to recover their vehicles.

But on Sunday, calm returned to the scene, as shoppers left the store with carts full of goods, pursuing their normal daily routines.

One shopper, Rodrigo Hurtado of Rolling Meadows, said he barely escaped getting caught in the middle, having left a few minutes before the incident.

After he left the parking lot Saturday, he said his daughter posted about the shooting on Snapchat.

It didn't stop him from returning on Sunday.

"I thought it was gang- related," but later learned it was related to a custody issue.

"That can happen anywhere. If it was gang-related, I might be a little bit more worried. It's pretty safe here. I've been living in this area for over 30 years."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Joe Woods of Mount Prospect said he "felt slightly uncomfortable coming here." But necessity ultimately guided his decision.

"Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. This is the only Walmart that we felt was within reach."

• Daily Herald staff writer James Kane and correspondent Mary Chappell contributed to this report.

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