UPDATED 11/11/11 11:08 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A family is grieving following the murder of a security guard, who was gunned down during a robbery at an Aldi store in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the robbers remained on the loose Friday morning.
Security guard Reginald Lanier, 54, of the Beverly neighborhood, was killed, and a 67-year-old woman who was shopping at the store was injured as she tried to escape, in the gunfire that rang out inside the popular Aldi store at 9001 S. Halsted St.
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Around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, as one of two armed robbers walked up to the register and announced a robbery.
Lanier got into a struggle with the second suspect, who pulled out a gun and shot him multiple times in the head and upper torso, police said.
The woman who was trying to escape was shot in the leg as she tried to run out. She was taken in serious to critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but has since been treated and released.
Lanier’s relatives could not hold back when they arrived at the Aldi late Thursday night.
“Oh my God! No!” one woman sobbed.
On Friday morning, Lanier’s neighbors were just starting to find out.
“What have we come to?” said neighbor Edward Murray, who lives two doors down from Lanier’s family.
Murray said Lanier was like an older brother; someone to barbecue with and watch sports.
“We just lost a good guy. It’s just senseless. It’s senseless,” Murray said. “We have to come together. I’m shocked.”
Added another neighbor, Samuel Jones: “He was just to himself – a quiet guy who would wave at you and smile at you; somebody you would say is a great guy; just great to know; a friendly neighbor.”
Lanier’s relatives said he had worked at the store for only three or four months, but he was worried about his safety after losing his nephew to gun violence last week.
“It’s so incredibility short – the fragility; the brevity of life itself,” Jones said. “I mean, it’s just not to be taken for granted.”
Customers at the Aldi store Lanier was always helpful.
“He was always a very helpful person; I mean, sometimes, when people would come into the store and they couldn’t find a certain thing, he would say, ‘It’s in aisle B-1,’ or whatever, you know,” said Aldi customer Les Jones. “So he was more than just a guard. He was like part of the community.”
Lanier’s 20-year-old daughter is an honor student at Roosevelt University. She spoke briefly to CBS 2 Friday morning, but the family declined to go on camera.
“My heart is out to the family,” Murray said.
Police were reviewing surveillance video from the store Friday morning, but would not say if the cameras actually captured images of the suspects.
Meanwhile, the Aldi store was closed Friday morning, and customers were being turned away.