Woodfield Mall Reopens After Car Smashes Into Stores; Driver In Custody

WBBM Newsradio Staff
September 20, 2019 - 3:11 pm

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SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg reopened Saturday with normal business hours after a man smashed through a Sears store Friday and drove through the building's atrium.

The 22-year-old man with a last-known address of Palatine is now in custody. Police have not released his identity or a motive, but have said the incident may be a result of a medical condition.

According to Schaumburg, police, a black SUV drove through the mall Friday at 2:30 p.m. through the Sears entrance and into the mall, hitting store interiors and kiosks before smashing into a pillar.

Seven people were treated for non-life threatening injuries. Three of them were taken to the hospital for treatment. 

Witness video shows the chaotic scene as the SUV drove through the mall. People scrambled and shouted as they fled, and the sound of tires screeching could be heard. 

"Stop driving" screamed one person. 

"This is not happening right now," said the person taking the video. 

It did not take long for Schaumburg police to arrest the driver, who ran for a short amount of time after he crashed the car but did not put up a fight with police. 

Schaumburg officials said the mall was evacuated and urged the public to avoid the area.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they are assisting with the response at Woodfield. 

Peggie TJ, who was in Sears when she heard the car come into the mall, said she watched the driver go past her and was scared of the damage the car might cause to kids. She said she saw employees from other stores run out to make sure children and mall-goers were okay.

"I was pretty agitated (and) light-headed and (felt) adrenaline and anxiety," TJ said, who got her blood pressure checked by a paramedic after she exited the mall. 

Woodfield Mall issued the following statement several hours after the incident.

"The authorities believe this to be an isolated incident involving one person who has been arrested.  We are grateful no one was injured, and thank our security team and the police for their quick response.”