Gunman kills 3, wounds 5 in shooting spree before being shot dead by police in Evanston
The spree of terror ended when police shot and killed the man after he had briefly taken a woman hostage at an IHOP in Evanston.
A gunman went on a shooting spree that stretched from the South Side of Chicago to Evanston Saturday afternoon that resulted in at least three people fatally shot and five others critically wounded before police killed the man during a shootout.
Police identified the gunman as Jason Nightengale, 32, of Chicago, and did not know the motive behind the spree.
The spree of terror came to an end in Evanston when police responded to a call of a man with a gun at 5:38 p.m. inside a CVS store at 101 Asbury Ave. Shots were fired inside the store, Evanston Police Chief Demitrous Cook said.
Officers then chased Nightengale as he ran into the IHOP restaurant across the street, where he took a woman hostage, Cook said.
After shooting the woman, Nightengale ran out of the restaurant and got in a shootout with the Evanston officers in a nearby Dollar General parking lot, where he was shot and killed, Cook said.
The woman was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition, Cook said. The police chief said she suffered a gunshot wound to her “neck area.”
“But for the brave conduct of Evanston police officers, many more people would have been injured,” Chicago police Supt. David Brown said.
On Facebook, a woman who said she was Nightengale’s sister wrote: “My brother was not and hadn’t been in his right mind for a long time . . . My condolences to any families affected by his mental break.”
Brown said the shooting spree began when Nightengale shot and killed a 30-year-old man shortly before 2 p.m. in a parking garage in the 5300 block of East End while the man was sitting in his vehicle.
University of Chicago police identified the man as a student at the school.
From there, Nightengale went to an apartment building a block away and “just randomly” began shooting, striking a woman and killing a building security guard who was sitting at the front desk, Brown said. The gunman then shot a 77-year-old woman in the head in the same building as she was getting her mail, leaving her in critical condition.
Nightengale went to an apartment building in the 5500 block of South East End, where it is believed his relatives once lived, and forced a man he knew at gunpoint to give him the keys to a red Toyota, police said.
Nightengale drove to the 9300 block of South Halsted, where about 3 p.m. he entered a convenience store, announced a robbery and began shooting, killing a 20-year-old man inside the store and leaving an 81-year-old woman in critical condition.
An hour later, a 15-year-old girl was shot in the head as she rode in a vehicle in the 10300 block of South Halsted Street with her mother. Brown said Nightengale is believed to be responsible for that shooting, as well, which left the girl in critical condition.
Nightengale then returned to one of the shooting scenes and fired at investigating officers. No officers were hurt.
At 5:34 p.m., a dispatcher alerted Chicago police officers in Rogers Park that Nightengale was suspected of being there.
The dispatcher described the red Toyota that Nightengale had been driving and said the car “supposedly just pinged at 7600 N. Sheridan,” apparently a reference to a tracking system in it.
“He’s armed and dangerous — supposedly used a .45-caliber in two homicides today,” the dispatcher said, according to a recording of the call.
Another alert was put out at 5:41 p.m. saying the car was a victim’s — not Nightengale’s.
Moments later, an officer called the dispatcher saying shots were fired near the IHOP and Dollar General.
Nightengale doesn’t appear to have been convicted of any violent crimes, though he was charged in five separate domestic battery cases over the past decade. All of those charges were dismissed.
On his LinkedIn account, Nightengale said he worked brief stints as a janitor, a taxi driver and as a “security investigator.” The owner of the security firm said he’s never heard of him.