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4 Dead, 2 Wounded In Altgeld Gardens Store Shooting

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Ihab Arafeh, 46, was among four people killed when a group of gunmen walked into a cell phone store on the Far South Side and opened fire. (Family Photo)

Ihab Arafeh, 46, was among four people killed when a group of gunmen walked into a cell phone store on the Far South Side and opened fire. (Family Photo)

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UPDATED 11/03/11 4:16 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A security guard tried to defend a store near the Altgeld Gardens public housing development from several men who walked in and started shooting Wednesday night, but he was outgunned.

The guard was one of four people killed in the shootout at the The Connect, at 130th Street and Eberhart Avenue, which also sells jewelry and beauty items and an assortment of other merchandise in addition to cell phones. Two other people were wounded.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, Police were questioning at least two persons of interest in the shooting and investigators also were reviewing surveillance video from the store.

Police said at least three people walked into the store and started shooting. The security guard fired back.

Three men – ages 25, 30 and 46 – died at the scene. A 17-year-old boy died later at Roseland Community Hospital.

Among those killed in the shootout was Ihab Arafeh, 46, a father of five who came to the store Wednesday night, as he did on many other occasions, to deliver cell phones and supplies.

“He had nothing to do with it. It was just really tragic. He just never come home yesterday,” Arafeh’s oldest child, Zaid Ihab Arafeh said.

Zaid said his father lived to provide for his family. He worked six days a week as the owner of his own cell phone and cell phone accessory wholesale distributorship.

Ihab Arafeh’s job brought him to The Connect around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. During his delivery stop, several men entered the store and opened fire.

“We heard it was not a robbery, which was sick.” Zaid said. “They just go in there pointlessly shooting. … It was just, like, a massacre inside that store.”

A video camera inside the store reportedly captured the several minute long shootout. Arafeh was among those killed.

Police said one of the gunmen, a 17-year-old boy, was also killed in the shootout. He was identified as Alex Spikes, of an unknown address, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Store employee Dion Williams said a co-worker and the store’s security guard were also killed. Police said the security guard exchanged gunshots with the attackers.

“They just came dead inside the store, shooting and killing everybody, for no reason. For whatever reason, we don’t know. We still don’t know,” Williams said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the security guard as Michael Banks, of 3958 Willow St. in Hobart, Ind., who was in his early 30s; and Weam Salem, 25, of an unidentified address.

“Make sure you stay with your families. Cherish your time with your family, because you never know when they’re going to leave,” Zaid said of the loss of his father.

Zaid said his family would always ask his father to come home as early as possible and do deliveries in the morning, especially in high crime areas, because they felt that was always safer.

Meantime, police said a woman in her 30s, who was in the store and shot multiple times, was in critical condition Thursday afternoon at Roseland Community Hospital. A 17-year-old boy who was shot in the thigh was in good condition at MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island.

The teen who was wounded was also believed to be one of the gunmen.

(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)

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