UPDATED: Cops Search For Man Who Killed Woman At ‘L’ Stop

UPDATED 03/30/11 4:57 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police are seeking the public’s help in catching the suspect who sent a woman tumbling down a flight of stairs as he escaped from a robbery at the Fullerton ‘L’ stop. The woman later died.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, on Monday afternoon, the robber was running away with an iPhone he had stolen on a CTA Brown Line train when he pushed Sally Katona-King, 68, down the stairs. She was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead Tuesday.

Police are now hunting for the suspect. Belmont Area Detective Commander Gary Yamashiroya said, “Because there is a death involved, we are investigating this as seriously as any homicide.”

Police describe the robber as an African-American male wearing a black hat, a black jacket with the letters “WS” on the back and blue jeans.

As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, the Fullerton station is a very busy CTA stop, so it’s possible many people got at least a glimpse of the suspect. Katona-King’s family said they certainly hope so.

“It makes no sense, no sense. A stupid cell phone. It makes no sense,” her daughter Eileen Katona said on Wednesday.

Eileen Katona was clearly numb and overwhelmed at her mother’s sudden and violent death. And she said she’s shaken by how her mother looked in the hospital after being pushed down the stairs at the Fullerton stop by a man who’d just stolen someone else’s iPhone.

“Horrible, horrible head injury,” she said. “It didn’t even look like her.”

sally katona king UPDATED: Cops Search For Man Who Killed Woman At L Stop

Sally Katona-King (Credit: CBS 2)

Katona-King never regained consciousness after her fall.

Police have been actively looking for her killer.

Sources said the robber bolted out of the ‘L’ stop’s exit on the north side of Fullerton and ran east.

But the CTA’s only security camera at that stop is across the street, inside the entrance, making it unlikely it captured anything.

But at least one other camera did: a security camera inside a Currency Exchange near Fullerton and Halsted.

The manager said it caught a glimpse of the robber fleeing the scene.

But she said she wasn’t sure if the video would help provide a better description of the suspect.

“I don’t know. It just depends, you know, what the police think, what they see on there,” “But it was hard to tell, it was the glare. Just an individual running eastbound.”

Police would not discuss the security footage, but they were hoping to track the stolen iPhone using GPS.

Eileen Katona said she and her siblings were just coping with their loss for now.

“I’m just going and doing what I need to do to take care of things,” she said.

The family wants the man who killed their mother to pay for what he did.

“Whenever we make bad decisions, we make mistakes, there’s consequences,” Eileen Katona said. “You know, I know he didn’t mean to kill my mother, but he made a bad decision by stealing that lady’s cell phone and pushing my mother.”

Katona-King was a deacon at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Logan Square neighborhood. She lived right next door to the church, which she faithfully attended every Sunday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports

Her son, David King said his mother lived her life serving the disadvantaged and the homeless.

Katona-King also worked as a receptionist at the Evangelical Lutheran Church Metropolitan Chicago Synod.

On Wednesday morning, King was struggling to understand how someone could kill his mother.

Making things all the more difficult, this is not the first time King has dealt with a tragedy. In 1971, when he was just a baby, his father was murdered.

“We’ve dealt with tragedy all our lives,” he said, “and my mother was the rock.”

“I’m very angry,” he said. “It’s not the way my mom deserved to die.”

After the robber knocked her down, Katona-King suffered “a massive hemorrhage to the brain; the brain shifted, and then there was blood all over the place, so it was pretty much done at that point.”

The owner of the stolen iPhone sat at Katona-King’s bedside until she died, King said.

“She stayed at the hospital. She was there with my mother the whole time,” King said. “So at least she wasn’t alone.”

King says everything good about him, he got from his mother.

“She did everything that she wanted to do,” he said. “She liked to cook, she liked to helped people, and that’s exactly what she did all her life.”

King says he will take life one day at a time now, but will never forget how his mother died.

“My mother wouldn’t want vengeance. Sure this guy needs to be brought to justice, but my thoughts are a lot deeper than that — what I feel want I want to do to this man, by that’s not what my mom wouldn’t want.”

Police said there might also be a camera at a nearby Dominick’s grocery store, at 959 W. Fullerton Ave., but they do not know if it captured anything.

Katona-King leaves behind three children and two grandchildren.

The wake for Katona-King is scheduled for Friday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Grein Funeral Home, 2141 W. Irving Park Rd. The funeral will be held at Grein on Saturday at 10:30 a.m., and is open to the public.

  • Bob

    It is ridiculous that the CTA does not have cameras on all trains and train platforms. This would not have happened if there was diligent surveillance throughout the CTA network. Given some high profile incidents in the past and the overall CTA theft statistics it is mind boggling that the trains and major train platforms are still camera free.

    • michael

      at death he goes thru thick black darkness Horrific then to the 3fold hooded judge, by an unseen force thru tunnels thru a green cyclone where hes whisked to the circular bottomless pit prison where enless nightmares and torments at the earth’s center (hell) no hope or a way out, then back out in spaces to outer darkness, the great white throne judegment, then lake of fire and brimstone, a burning skeleton in eternity

      • michael

        disreguard this comment, but petty theft shouldn,t lead to murder if someone just has to have a cell phone, but, this is however a classical exaMPLE of lazziness, unwillingness to work to earn moneyto buy gadgets, but, many don, t like to WORK, its easier to steel, and this is tradgic! this wouldn’t happen in the fifties,. NOW SINCE THE DEATH PENALTY IS ABOLISHED IN ILLINOIS, they can murder all they want, more than that, and thensome, after all alll thell get is life without parole at worst, unless, they get killed before they due life, then they be in rough hune stone wall prissons of the pit of hell where it’s 12000 degres every day.(ezeckiel 32)

  • Tom

    Great lady. A great life cut short. The cops will get the suspect,. Especially with a pretty good description, in particular with the letters on that jacket. That will catch someone’s attention who knows a guy that wears that jacket. But hey, SKY KING. What is an obamanite? I”m a pretty street savy, intelligent guy but that’s a new one on me.

  • ERR

    Great Lady indeed. Hope someone catches this ahole and justice is served. Daley and Rahm need to grow some….Brazil used their forces to clean out the slums, how about our reserves to clean up chicago…..we need it.

  • Kathy

    Terrible Loss. She made the best chocolate cake!!!!!!!!!!!! A senseless crime, this perp must be caugh at all costst! Good people do not deserve this. May she rest in peace, my prayers are with the family.

  • mike

    The suspect is “AFRICAN-AMERICAN” …………..OF COURSE!!!!!

  • mike

    It’s ALWAYS WHITEY’S FAULT!!! Just ask the EVIL HATEMONGER who doesn’t study history MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN a man who’s wholesale HATRED is as disgusting as any Nazis.

  • Tom

    Easy, Mike, easy. Your psychiatric appointment is at noon and once they hook the jumper cables up to your ears and give you the weekly 15 second jolt, you’ll be okay again

    • Luis

      Therte’s a ton of merit, in Mike’s postings. You’re the one with the problem by saying Mike needs psychiatric help, for saying black people always blame whites for everything. Most of them do. Furthermore, Farrakhan DOES indeed hate Jews. That’s he truth.

  • Ray

    I wonder if the person who got their iPhone stolen had the “Find My iPhone” feature enabled? Then you can track where and perhaps who’s got the stolen phone.

    Chicago Police, have you investigated this?

  • Chivi

    Search at the mission located at Canalport just south of Roosevelt. Search lower Wacker Drive where hundreds of homeless sleep.

  • mike

    I guess you can’t handle the truth Tom. Very funny, also very clueless. Carry on wathching your soap operas.

  • Steph

    I would love to watch someone push this man down 4 flights of stairs face first.

  • Cylon Burson

    Pull the video camera from the intersecting bus routes in the area: The #74 Fullerton, and the #8 Halsted bus cameras around or parallel to the time of the shooting. If I know anything, I know a suspect will shoot for a fast getaway from the area. What better a ride than a nearby bus back to wherever they came from…just a thought.

  • NNW

    That COWARD probably has a record.

    This story is very sad, my sincere condolences to her devastated family.

  • Dveo

    When I read the part of the story where the robbery victim stayed at Mrs. King’s bedside and was with her when she died, I just burst out in tears. What a loving human gesture made towards another person. Please let’s all work to find this monster responsible.

  • Can't we be adults

    How do they know the suspect was an American? PC run amouk. The tribune did not release the suspects race….even though the police report did. That doesnt help catch the guy. My heart goes out to this poor woman’s friends and family.

  • mike

    Thank you Luis! It seems that TOM could use a little psychiatric help. I DON”T HATE Black people but I DO HATE their asinine DOUBLE-STANDARD ridden behavior AND attitude. That’s why I posted what I did. Whenever they’re criticized they play the race card. Their problems are ALL the fault of the WHITE MAN. When some one says “Blacks do this” They get all indignant saying “We’re not ALL like that” (which is true) yet they BLAME THE WHITE MAN COLLECTIVELY for THEIR shortcomings. They continually WHINE about RACISM and DISCRIMINATION when THEY are some of the most hate filled racists on the planet. I can tell you from personal experience. I’ve been in the music and entertainment field for more than 30 years now and the most racial hatred I’ve ever seen has been FROM BLACK PEOPLE!!!!!!

  • Sky King

    Like I said before,bring in the National Guard for some aircraft support,heck why not obama and holder did it.

  • The Pooolice

    Why is the Bad Guy always a BROTHER?

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/03/31/police-to-release-sketch-of-l-stop-suspect/ Police Release Sketch Of ‘L’ Stop Suspect « CBS Chicago

    […] received a major upgrade a couple of years ago that included new elevators and longer platforms, there is only one security camera in the whole station. It is downstairs, and the suspect escaped its […]

  • RM

    I’m an American who happens to be a beautiful black person. No matter what color this psycho is, I don’t accept that all of us are like this. This individual should be judged on his own character and actions So please stop throwing race into these discussions. This family has lost a loved one and I pray for comfort of the entire family and friends and that this person is brought to justice and punished.

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