A man was gunned down by an assailant who chased him out of a Chicago Heights gas station and kept firing even after he’d collapsed in the parking lot Tuesday morning, according to the station owner and police.
The shooter then went back inside and "waited until the police came to arrest him,’’ according to Mobil store owner Mike Husain, who said the terrifying incident was “like something out of a movie.’’
The suspect remains in custody but no charges have been filed as of 8:30 p.m., said Chicago Heights police Lt. Joseph Petrarca.
The victim, Robert Fortson, was pronounced dead at 12:10 p.m. at St. James Hospital and Health Centers in Chicago Heights, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Fortson, of the 1900 block of Circle Court in the south suburb, had been shot multiple times, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Petrarca said police were called to the station in the 400 block of West 14th Street, at about 10:58 a.m. for a shooting victim and found Fortson lying in the parking lot.
Husain said he wasn't there, but watched the shooting unfold on video surveillance taken at the scene, where both men had been customers.
“The shooter was buying a newspaper and paying for his gas,’’ Husain said.
When Fortson walked in, the men began arguing and something enraged the gunman, who appeared to be dressed in a security guard’s uniform.
“So he was buying stuff and the victim walked in and when he saw him, they started arguing and the victim tried to run away and he chased him outside into the parking lot,’’ Husain said.
Husain said the gunman shot Fortson in the back and then ”emptied his gun’’ into the man as the victim lie on the ground.
“He kept shooting,’’ Husain said.
Terrified customers and workers ran out of the crowded 6,000 square foot building which also houses a Dunkin’ Donuts and a restaurant, but the shooter came back inside.
“He then waited in the front door of the business and then walked inside the store and was waiting at the counter until the police got there’’ Husain said. “Everybody was so scared.’’
Police arrived and the shooter, “gave himself up’’ and he was placed into custody. Husain said he appeared to be about the same age as the victim.
Husain had no idea what could have sparked the attack, or even if the two men knew each other.
“I’m glad he was arrested,’’ according to Husain, who said the businesses were opened back up about 6 p.m.
Husain, who has owned the business since 2009, said he’s never had something like this happen before and acknowledged that though the neighborhood can be “rough’’ residents are “really nice.’’
Husain said the ordeal left him with an eerie feeling as it happened in broad daylight and on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The owner said the slaying seemed like "something out of a movie."
“But today I saw it in real life.’’