Updated 09/05/14 – 2:55 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Three employees at an Aurora fast-food restaurant were shot – two of them critically wounded – during a what appeared to be a robbery attempt Thursday evening, although the gunmen took off without taking any money.
Police had three individuals in custody.
Two suspects entered a KFC in the 1300 block of East New York Street around 8:30 p.m. Thursday and announced a robbery, Aurora police said. One man was wearing a mask. At least one was armed with a rifle. A third suspect was believed to be driving a getaway vehicle.
Aurora spokesman Dan Ferrelli said four employees, and no customers, were inside the store at the time, though only three employees were visible. The suspects ordered those three young men to the front of the store, and immediately demanded money.
A short time later, two of suspects started shooting, even though the employees were complying with their demands.
The fourth employee, a female, hid in a closet in the back of the store until the attack was over.
“The 911 call apparently was placed from within the store. Now, as to whether that employee is the one that called, I’m not sure about that,” Ferrelli said.
The three male employees – ages 17, 19, and 24 – were shot. The 19-year-old and 24-year-old were shot in the torso, and critically wounded. The 17-year-old was shot in the leg. He was not seriously hurt. All were taken to Aurora hospitals.
“Ruthless; this was brazen, it was violent. It’s really a shocking, shocking crime,” Ferrelli said. “Again, our focus is to hold those responsible and bring a sense of justice to the victims.”
Police arrived at the KFC within minutes, but the suspects already had fled the scene in a getaway car they had parked nearby. Surprisingly, they left without taking any money.
Ferrelli said the two suspects were arrested about 15 minutes later at a home in the 1100 block of Liberty Street, about a half mile away. Police later arrested a third suspect at a motel in the 2300 block of North Farnsworth in Aurora.
Detectives spent most of the night gathering evidence from inside the KFC. Police also were reviewing surveillance video from inside the KFC and talking to victims.
Daisy Chavez, a bartender who works nearby, said she’s noticed an uptick in shootings recently, and thinks Aurora police should patrol the area more often.
“I mean, yeah, if they could prevent, or help prevent any of that stuff, then yeah they should get a little bit more involved; for the safety of the community, you know?” she said.
Anyone with information should call detectives at (630) 256-5500 or Aurora Area Crimestoppers at (630) 892-1000.