CHICAGO (CBS) — Prosecutors said Krysztof Marek, the man charged with the murders of five neighbors in a shooting rampage at a Dunning condo complex on Saturday, left a note taped to his door stating, in Polish, “They have to pay for it.”
The rampage was the deadliest single attack in Chicago in almost four years.
As CBS 2’s Chris Tye reported, Marek is charged with five counts of first-degree murder, and was denied bail Monday after a Cook County judge called him “evil on steroids.”
Judge called Marek "Evil on steroids."
He is being held without bond. @cbschicago
— Chris Tye (@TVTye) October 14, 2019
Cook County prosecutors said Marek, a 66 grandfather of six, shot and killed four people as they were sitting down for dinner Saturday in a second-floor condo in the 6700 block of West Irving Park Road, near Oak Park Avenue. He then walked to another condo on the third floor, and shot and killed a fifth victim as she tried to flee down the back stairs.
Criminal Court Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke called Marek “evil on steroids” as he ordered Marek held without bond on Monday.
At Marek’s bond hearing, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney James Murphy said Tsvetanka Kostadinova and Ivaylo Popov, both 43, were sitting down for dinner Saturday evening in unit 2D with Popov’s mother, 65-year-old Iskra Pourel-Popova, and her boyfriend, 61-year-old David Hanik, waiting for a fifth family member to arrive.
As they were all sitting around the dinner table, Marek walked in through the front door, and shot all four with a .40-caliber handgun, Murphy said. All four of their bodies dropped to the floor around the table, prosecutors said.
He then walked up to the third floor and unit 3C, still carrying the gun, and went into an apartment where 53-year-old Jolanta Topolska was sitting on her couch, and shot her in the abdomen. Meantime, her son, who had heard the gunfire downstairs, had gone out the back door to investigate, and was walking back in as Marek was pointing the gun at his mother, Murphy said.
Topolska and her son ran out the back door of the third-floor apartment, and Marek shot Topolska in the back of the head, according to Murphy. Marek then walked back to his condo, put his gun on his coffee table, and exited the front of the building as police arrived.
Police say he killed a family of four seated at Saturday dinner as they waited for one more loved one. Killed them at the dinner table, then went upstairs to kill the fifth victim who was able to escape down back stairs, only to be shot in the head by him. @cbschicago
— Chris Tye (@TVTye) October 14, 2019
Murphy said Marek told police, “I think you’re looking for me, I did it,” and then told officers the door to his condo was open, and the gun was inside.
Popov was pronounced dead at the scene. Kostadinova, Pourel-Popova, and Hanik were taken to hospitals, where they were pronounced dead. Topolska was pronounced dead the next day at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
“I want world to remember that she was charming, funny. She was a very good mother,” said Stella Kalaykova, who employed Kostadinova. Kalaykova hired the gentle and smart daycare worker a year ago.
Kostadinova was from Bulgaria and relocated to Chicago to be with her husband, Popov.
“Smart, beautiful woman with a future lost her life in such a – for me, it’s a terrible way,” Kalaykova told CBS 2’s Jim Williams. “No one expected it, because she never talked about having any problems with any neighbors. She’s not a conflict person.”
Police have said the shooting stemmed from a dispute between Marek and his neighbors. Prosecutors said detectives found a note taped to the inside of Marek’s door, written in Polish, which translated to “No mercy. Remember. Whatever s*** they do to you, You control it yourself not them!! Enough!!! They have to pay for it!!”
The next day, police recovered a second note from Marek’s condo, which said in Polish, “Tomorrow!! No mercy. Without any stupid hesitation!!! Remember who you are!! Remember what this piece of s*** Is doing to you!! Enough!!”
Murphy said other notes were found in his apartment “specifically addressing issues with his neighbors.”
Prosecutors confirmed Monday that Marek had not been paying his mortgage or his condo association fees, and the homeowners’ association was trying to evict him.
Marek also filed for bankruptcy in 2017, according to court records. Foreclosure lawsuits were filed against him at that time.
Neighbors also say there was an incident between Marek and the son of one of the victims who was hosting the dinner party this past summer, where Marek punched him in the face out of the blue.
The building manager at the condo complex told CBS 2’s Tye that Marek “flipped out” when the condo association voted him out as president of the board around the same time he filed for bankruptcy. He had reportedly become sloppy with bookkeeping.
Although neighbors expected him to do something “stupid” at the time, they did not expect something like this.
We reached out to Illinois State Police about Marek. As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported, they could not say if he has a Firearm Owners Identification card or an Illinois concealed carry license.
Meantime, family members have set up a GoFundMe to help raise money for the funerals for Kostadinova, Popov, Pourel-Popova, and Hanik. As of Monday afternoon, it had raised more than $36,000.