Squatter shoots 2 people in abandoned Dolton home as residents reiterate ongoing problem

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(Justin Jackson/Sun-Times Media Wire)

After two people were shot Thursday in Dolton by a squatter living in an abandoned home, residents are wondering why it's taken so long to deal with this type of problem.

A neighbor who doesn’t want to be identified says it was just a matter of time before something bad happened at the abandoned home in Dolton.

"[I] just heard the commotion and then heard the shots,” said the neighbor.

The shooting happened around 3:30 a.m. Dolton police say a man living at the home illegally shot his 40-year-old ex-girlfriend and her 19-year-old son after she came to the home to retrieve her cellphone.

"He went back into the home, reappeared with a shotgun, fired multiple times, striking the ex-girlfriend and her son,” said Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers.

Both were taken to the hospital in critical condition. The suspect fled and police say they're working to get an arrest warrant.

“We had made several calls, several complaints,” said the neighbor. “Dolton had a lot of complaints concerning them as far as noise, as far as fighting. It's not the first time, so this was inevitable."

A Dolton trustee who lives down the block says that's unacceptable. Tiffany Henyerd said she's complained about the property at village board meetings.

“When the trustees get that information, it's supposed to go to the higher-ups, whether that's the attorneys, or the mayor, or whoever,” said Henyerd. “And they're supposed to fix it and nip it in the bud."

The city says police were called to this abandoned home seven times over the past year for reports of a domestic disturbance, noise complaints, and a well-being check. However, they say none of those were criminal in nature.

"This is the first that I’ve heard of it,” said Mayor Rogers.

Mayor Rogers did say there is an epidemic of abandoned homes in Dolton, some 400 at last count.

By late afternoon, a board up company was sealing up the crime scene, leaving neighbors to wonder why it took a tragedy to make it happen.