One man was shot and police were searching for two others after they attempted to rob a jewelry store at the Oakbrook Center, police said.
The incident Sunday caused the mall to be put on temporary lockdown after the robbery attempt at the C.D. Peacock store, said Oak Brook Police Chief James R. Kruger Jr.
Three men went into the store and one of the men, armed with a hammer, broke a glass case while the other two acted as lookouts, said Kruger.
After the man broke the case, a security guard in the jewelry store drew his weapon and told the man to drop the hammer, Kruger said. The man with the hammer then began approaching the guard, who fired his weapon, striking the robber in the abdomen, Kruger said.
Police were called at 3:41 p.m. Initially the call was for "an active shooter" in the mall after the remaining men fled the store and went into the mall, Kruger said.
At that point, customers and workers were told to remain in the stores while the mall was locked down, Kruger said. There were 10 customers and six employees in the jewelry store, and none were injured, Kruger said.
The two men fled the mall and went to a black Jeep Liberty which they had stolen from a mall employee and was parked at a handicapped parking space, Kruger said. The men fled westbound on 22nd Street, police said.
The shooting victim was taken to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove where he was undergoing surgery for a single gunshot wound. His condition was not immediately available.
Police were reviewing surveillance video from the store and the mall.
Sensitive to the shopping center's tony reputation, the mall's security personnel and public relations staff later tried to prevent reporters from interviewing patrons affected by the brief lockdown. They also banished media trucks to a remote parking lot in an apparent attempt to minimize evidence of a Sunday afternoon gone awry.
Some shoppers and mall workers, however, described a temporarily frightening scene in which police officers descended upon the open-air shopping center with their guns out after receiving a 911 call about an active shooter on the grounds. The vast majority of people had not heard the gunshot or realized anything was wrong until the police showed up.
"It was scary to see them walking through the store with their guns," said one mall employee, who asked not to be named because she did not have permission from her employer to talk publicly about the incident. "But we we given updates and we knew we were in good hands."