Armored Car Security Guard Lashonda Hearts Killed, Partner Wounded During Robbery While Loading ATM In West Chatham
By Asal Rezaei and Marie Saavedra
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two armored car guards were shot Monday morning, and one of them was killed, during a robbery while they were loading an ATM in the West Chatham neighborhood.
As CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reported, the guards were doing a routine part of their job – which can be very dangerous anytime. In this case, it was deadly.
Police said the guards were loading an ATM at the Bank of America, on the 200 block of West 83rd Street around 10:20 a.m., when a group of two to four men dressed in black and wearing masks came up and demanded the cash, and shot both security guards.
A 47-year-old woman was shot six times, and a 46-year-old man was shot twice. Both were taken to University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition, according to police and fire officials. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office later confirmed one of the victims died. She was identified as Lashonda Hearts, 47, of the Auburn Gresham community.
The robbers fled the scene in an unknown vehicle. No one was in custody.
As CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reported, Chicago Police were staged Monday night at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Meanwhile, friends and loved ones were stunned.
"I cannot believe that," said Venus London. "Like, I don't even know how to process that."
Hearts' name Monday night was still on the mailbox at the home where she used to rent from London – who was horrified to learn that Hearts died doing a job she wanted and for which she worked.
"We always encouraged her as a family to just pursue her dreams - and she did," London said. "She said she was going to do it, and she made that happen. That was something she really aspired to do."
Following the shooting, Simeon Career Academy, located just a couple blocks away, was locked down for part of the morning.
Area Two detectives and the FBI are investigating.
A representative for the armored car company, GardaWorld, confirmed two guards were shot during a "foiled robbery attempt."
"Two of our employees were critically injured and taken to hospital. At this time, we are focusing on supporting them and their immediate families. We are working closely with the authorities in their investigation to find the perpetrators," the company said in a statement.
David Vallejo works across from the Bank of America, and he says, at first, he wasn't sure what all commotion was about.
"We didn't realize it was gunshots," Vallejo said. "I thought they were banging on the back door. That's why I opened it. And that's when I saw the cars turning."
Vallejo said he was the drivers and people on foot running from the gunfire. He said this was the third shooting while he has worked in the area in the past year.
"My mom's always calling me like are you OK? This isn't the first time this has happened. So this is the third time where she's like, are you OK?" Vallejo said. "So it's not the safest area to work."
The suspects escaped in a getaway car, after firing two bullets that hit Hearts' partner, and the six
Hearts leaves behind loved ones now forced to go on without her - all because she was doing her job.
"She was somebody's mother, she was somebody's grandmother, you know," London said. "She was a person."
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