A gunman shot a woman before turning the gun on himself Friday night in what police describe as a domestic-related shooting at the Nordstrom store off of North Michigan Avenue.
The 31-year-old man was targeting his “girlfriend or ex-girlfriend,” who was a seasonal employee at the department store, said John Escalante, chief of detectives for the Chicago Police Department.
2 shot, 1 fatally at downtown Nordstrom store.
“She was working up on the second floor when he approached her, fired one shot, which struck her,” Escalante said on the scene. “He then turned the gun to himself and shot and killed himself.”
Responders found the gunman dead when they arrived, and the 22-year-old woman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition, Escalante said. The shooting happened about 8:30 p.m. Friday.
According to a police report, the shooter, identified as Marcus Dee, approached the woman at the store and they spoke with each other. He took out a gun, and as the woman walked away from him, he shot her in the head/neck area before shooting himself in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 10:23 p.m., the report said.
The crowded store, at 55 E. Grand Ave. in the Shops at North Bridge mall on North Michigan Avenue, was hurriedly emptied of holiday shoppers after the shooting, according to witnesses.
The Nordstrom store will be closed Saturday, according to its website. The other stores in the shopping center are open Saturday, according to mall.
“This is an active scene, an ongoing investigation, but again I can tell you it is domestic-related,” Escalante said.
According to court records, the gunman had petitioned to have a temporary restraining order issued against the woman for stalking. That petition was denied by a Cook County judge last April, court records show.
Shoppers at the store described panic and chaos caused by the shooting.
Michelle Smith, 47, was buying purses with her daughter Krystal, 25, when they suddenly heard two gunshots right after the other.
“It was a pow and a pow,” said Michelle Smith. “It was a stampede coming down the escalator.”
Suzanne Nanos-Gusching was on the third floor with her daughter who was trying on a dress for a sorority formal at the University of Michigan when shots rang out. Soon after, employees were trying to clear the building.
“We just saw people running out, and they (the employees) rushed her to get dressed,” said Nanos-Gusching. “They were adamant about getting us out of the building.”
Michael Nelson, who works at a watch boutique in the Nordstrom building in the mall, said he saw people clamoring to leave without realizing what had happened.
“They looked scared, people were falling over each other (to get out),” said Nelson.
According to the Nordstrom website, the store was scheduled to be open until 9 p.m. Friday.
There were no other injuries reported.