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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 February 2008, 11:52 GMT
Five killed in US shopping centre
Ambulance and police outside Lane Bryant store 2/2/08
The shooting took place in a branch of Lane Bryant
Five women have been shot dead at a shopping centre near the US city of Chicago, local police have said.

The incident happened at the Brookside Marketplace in the suburb of Tinley Park, police Sergeant T J Grady said.

Sgt Grady said officers found the victims inside a Lane Bryant clothing store shortly after receiving an emergency call on Saturday morning.

A suspect is reported to have fled the scene. Police believe the shooting resulted from a bungled robbery.

Witnesses said that following the incident police shut down nearby shops and searched the area with their guns drawn.

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"Every store was immediately canvassed and a search by air, too, has given us every indication that the offender has left the scene," Sgt Grady told reporters.

He said police were looking for a black man about 5ft 9 inches tall and weighing 230 to 260 pounds, dressed in a black waist-length winter coat, a black cap and black jeans.

Sgt Grady said police were working on the assumption that the shop was the target of a robbery.

"Through the investigators inside, they were able to determine pretty substantially that the motive in this case was a robbery and that at some point it went rather poorly."

The Lane Bryant shop was open at the time of the shootings, but Sgt Grady refused to say whether the women killed were customers or staff.

He said that the authorities are still trying to contact the victims' families.

However, Tinley Park Police Chief Mike O'Connell, did say that "the victims range in age from aged 22 to 37".

He said that all were residents of the suburban Chicago area, apart from one woman who was from South Bend, Indiana.



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