4 members of family dead following shooting, house fire in Oak Forest

Brad Weert, who lives in the block, said he heard “three pops” before heading outside to see “flames going as many as 10 feet above the roofline” of his neighbor’s home.

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Authorities investigate inside a badly burned home Friday, Sept. 23, 2022 were four people were found dead after a shooting and house fire in the 5500 block of Ann Marie Lane in Oak Forest.

Authorities investigate inside a badly burned home Friday where four people were found dead after a shooting and house fire in the 5500 block of Ann Marie Lane in Oak Forest.

Mohammad Samra/Sun-Times

Four people are dead following a shooting and house fire Friday in southwest suburban Oak Forest that led authorities to warn people living in the community to shelter in place for several hours.

About 6:35 a.m., officers responded to a domestic call and found two people shot in the driveway of a home in the 5500 block of Ann Marie Lane and a third shot in the road just south of the home, according to Oak Forest police.

A man identified as a “suspect” barricaded himself inside the home, which soon went up in flames, police said. He was found dead when the fire was extinguished.

A child was released from the home shortly before the fire started, according to police.

All four who died were members of the same family, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified them as Emilio Rodriguez, 20; Briana Rodriguez, 22; Lupe Gomez, 43; and Carlos Gomez, 44.

Carlos Gomez died from a gunshot wound to his head, and his death was ruled a suicide, the medical examiner’s office said Saturday. The other deaths were ruled homicides.

Brad Weert, who lives in the block, said he heard “three pops” before heading outside to see “flames going as many as 10 feet above the roofline” of his neighbor’s home.

“You hear it in the news and you just hope that one day it doesn’t come to your neighborhood,” Weert, 57, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

He said he has known the family for more than a decade and regularly saw them walking around the neighborhood. He recalled helping them out following a bad storm shortly after they moved in.

“You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors,” he said. “We all have to realize when we need help.”

Emergency Management Officer Tom Ceska said he was among those who responded to the incident Friday morning.

As the home was burning, SWAT officers “entered and secured the area before fire officials were able to extinguish the blaze,” Ceska said.

Police and fire officials could be seen investigating inside the home Friday afternoon through a burned out section of a wall. Several windows of the home were shattered and much of the roof was destroyed. Ribbons of blue paint had peeled away from the siding at one corner of the house.

At one point, a woman could be heard wailing as she was moved away from the burnt home by first-responders.

A cross and two candles outside a home Friday in the 5500 block of Ann Marie Lane in Oak Forest.

A cross and two candles were placed Friday in the 5500 block of Ann Marie Lane in Oak Forest where police say three people were killed in a shooting before a man barricaded himself inside a home.

Mohammad Samra/Sun-Times

Neighbors who stood outside watching said they were shocked.

“[The neighborhood] is so quiet,” said Sirena Velazquez, 30. “The only thing exciting that goes on in this street are the football or baseball games.”

“It’s scary,” added Velazquez, who has lived in the neighborhood for more five years. “I have three little ones. ... I don’t want anything happening to them.”

As police reopened the road in front of the home early Friday evening, passing motorists slowed down to survey the damage to the house, which was partially boarded up.

Authorities asked anyone with information to contact Detective Sgt. Ryan Burnett at 708-687-1376 or rburnett@oak-forest.org.

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