CHICAGO (CBS) — The three victims who died in a deadly shooting spree that went through multiple South Side neighborhoods and ended in north suburban Evanston have been identified.
The University of Chicago Sunday identified the man as Yiran Fan, a 30-year-old Ph.D. student in a joint program of the Booth School of Business and the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics. Fan came from China to study in the United States. He was in the fourth year of his program and hoped to propose his dissertation later this year.
Fan’s family in China has now been notified, and university representatives are in contact to offer support, according to a release from the University of Chicago.
Fan was shot and killed in the parking garage at the Regents Park building, at 5035 S. East End Ave. in a section of the East Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood known as Indian Village, around 1:50 p.m. Saturday.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said suspected spree killer Jason Nightengale entered the garage and shot Fan dead in his car.
After shooting and killing Fan, Brown said, Nightengale went to another building on the next block north – The Barclay condominium complex at 4940 S. East End Ave. Nightengale entered the vestibule of the building, took out a gun, and began firing shots – striking two women.
One of those women was doorwoman Aisha Johnson, 46, who lost her life. Her loved ones shared their grief, and anger, with CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross.
“I talked to her every day – every day,” said Johnson’s cousin, Demetrius Johnson.
Aisha Johnson, 46, would also normally talk with those at the front desk at The Barclay. She was, of course, an employee of the building.
“He didn’t have the right to take any of those people’s lives; to do whatever he did,” Demetrius Johnson said of Nightengale. “Those families are grieving just like we’re grieving, and I send my prayers and condolences out to them as well, because I know it’s not easy to lose somebody to something senseless and tragic as this. She was special. She was special. She didn’t deserve this.”
Demetrius Johnson said she flew up from Texas after hearing her loved one was shot and killed.
The doorwoman leaves behind three brothers and two adult children. She is the proud mom of a son serving his country and the loving mother to a daughter.
The sudden loss of her generosity and selflessness especially impacted the family.
“You needed something, she was going to give it to you. That was just her,” Demetrius Johnson said. “She was always happy. She made you laugh, and she was just a lovable woman.”
Ross asked Demetrius Johnson if she was and the rest of the family were still grieving, or angry.
“I’m angry. I’m very angry,” she said, “because – is this a dream, am I going to wake up? And I woke up this morning – no. This is real. This is real. It feels like a nightmare.”
Ross asked what Aisha Johnson might have been doing at the time, or if there was reason to believe she had known Nightengale.
“No, I don’t think that she knew him at all,” Demetrius Johnson said. “She was at work, sitting at her desk.”
Nightengale also shot a 77-year-old woman who was retrieving her mail at The Barclay, Brown said Saturday night. She was shot in the head and was left in critical condition, Brown said.
After stealing a man’s car keys at gunpoint on the 19th floor of an Indian Village building, police said Nightengale took off to a convenience store on Halsted Street near 93rd Street in the Brainerd neighborhood.
The family of 20-year-old Anthony “A.J.” Faulkner Jr. added he was murdered by Nightengale in that convenience store.
CBS 2 obtained security footage of the killing, which we stopped on before the gunfire took place.
“Anthony was kind, loving, funny,” said Faulkner’s cousin, Shapearl Wells. “Our hearts are broken. His family is devastated.”
Family members lit candles and released balloons at the crime scene Sunday night to honor Faulkner. They told us they were contacted by Nightengale’s family members offering condolences to them – an effort they described as less than healing.
“No amount of apologies, no amount of sorrow, can bring our loved one back,” Wells said.
An 81-year-old woman was also critically wounded in the convenience store shooting.
The three separate fatal shootings took place in a timespan of about an hour. Family and police described the gun violence as random and senseless.
Nightengale was ultimately shot and killed by Evanston police – after he also shot and wounded a 15-year-old girl in the 10300 block of South Halsted Street, fired a shot in a CVS store at Howard Street and Asbury Avenue in Evanston, and then took a woman hostage at an IHOP across the street. Prior to all that, he crossed paths with Aisha Johnson at The Barclay before police said he shot and killed her.
“He tried to get into the building to use the phone, but I don’t think she would let him in. I could just see her not letting him in,” Demetrius Johnson said. “She was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, and I don’t know how you can be at the wrong place at the wrong time at work.”
Demetrius Johnson said she would have liked to see Nightengale punished rather than being shot dead by police at the end of the killing spree.
“It makes no sense to me,” she said. “He should have suffered. He should have been in prison the rest of his life and suffered. He got the easy way out, and that wasn’t right.”
Late Sunday, some victims’ family members were asking the City and Chicago Police why efforts like phone alerts were not sent out to notify the community about the danger during the rampage.
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