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Shopper whacked with wine bottle in Walmart fracas

Updated: February 27, 2013 6:15AM



WAUKEGAN — When someone yelled the man had a gun, people started scrambling inside the Walmart at Fountain Square around 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Jerimiah Rogers, 21, of North Chicago, started running, too, because he saw the man with the gun. The suspect, one of two in the store, had just hit him in the face with a wine bottle, breaking off four teeth and getting glass in his eye.

The attacker then pulled a gun from his waistband after striking Rogers, so Rogers took off, running and hiding as best he could.

The two suspects also took off and fled the store before police arrived.

Destinie Lovelace, 21, of North Chicago was there with her sister, Desiree, 19, and Rogers, her boyfriend. They had just come from the money center where she got cash for Pampers for her two-week old baby and food. They were walking past the jewelry counter when the two suspects tried to talk to them and then started hassling them.

“We kept walking,” she said. A security guard arrived and threw the two out of the store.

“They were embarrassed and said something about beating us and we just said, ‘Yea, OK, whatever,’” she said.

The three went shopping, but unknown to them, the two had taken off their coats and snuck back into the store about 30 minutes later. One showed up blocking one end of the aisle and the other came behind them from the other end of the aisle. That’s when Rogers got hit with the wine bottle the attacker grabbed off the shelf.

“Then he pulled out a gun. Everyone started running and screaming,” she said.

Lovelace called 9-1-1 for the police and an ambulance. Police questioned the three about any possibility the incident was gang related, but they said they were not gang members and were not wearing any colors that might have implied they were.

Police said the suspects were about 20 years old. One was black with braids and the other was white or Hispanic, wearing a number 50 New England Patriots football jersey.

“Both were kicked out by security. They came back in and found the victim. They smashed a bottle across his face and one of the subjects allegedly pulled a gun,” said Waukegan Police Cmdr. Gabe Guzman. Rogers was treated at Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville.

Store officials requested a safety sweep of the building after the incident and police completed it without finding the suspects or any other evidence, Guzman said.



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