Security guard fatally shot at River Oaks Center shopping mall identified

A security guard shot and killed at River Oaks Center shopping mall in Calumet City was identified Thursday as a man from Blue Island.

On Wednesday, around 12:15 p.m., police were called to the suburban mall located at 96 River Oaks Center Drive for reports of shots fired.

Police say a 57-year-old security guard was shot and taken to an area hospital in unknown condition. The guard later died at the hospital, according to police.

The guard was identified Thursday as Norman Thomas, according to the Cook County medical examiner. He died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was declared a homicide.

Norman Thomas | Legal Help Firm

An 81-year-old man also suffered a minor injury to his hand during the incident. He was treated at the scene by paramedics.

The mall went on lockdown for about an hour while police swept the property. They are currently reviewing security footage. The mall will remain closed until further notice. 


Video obtained by FOX 32’s Tia Ewing shows the shooters firing in the mall, just outside the jewelry store, then ransacking several jewelry cases.

Police say Thomas was working at a jewelry store inside the mall — and Calumet City spokesman Sean Howard says Thomas did not fire back during the incident.

"I looked up from my phone and all you could hear was five or more shots, and the guy was standing there shooting inside the jewelry store. He had on a black hoodie outfit. All of a sudden the owner and rest of the owners, and the other ladies, we just dropped down to the floor to take cover," said a woman who was nearby getting her nails done.

George Brown works at a nearby barbershop and says he heard about 15 shots fired.

"Every morning, comes in, speaks, jokes, talks about sports," said George Brown about Thomas. "He was a good guy."

According to police scanner traffic, there were three suspects — two of them armed, one with a rifle, and the other with a handgun with an extended magazine. The suspects ran out of the mall and drove off after the shooting.

Calumet City Police Chief Kevin Kolosh says some glass jewelry cases were smashed, and that the suspects got away with an unknown amount of merchandise.

He also said the shooting appears to be an isolated incident.

At the time of the shooting, about 20 officers were conducting training in a building adjacent to the mall, Kolosh said.

"It certainly increased our response time," the chief said.

The mall has been an "ongoing problem for the city," according to Howard. "We’re not happy with the stigma attached to this mall and the safety concerns," he said.

The city has been having conversations with mall management, and Howard expects their talks will intensify following the latest shooting.

FOX 32 reached out to mall management for comment and have not heard back.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.