Homewood couple say they tried to stop fight, shooting

A Homewood couple say they tried to stop a fight that resulted in two people being shot outside Walmart, 17550 S. Halsted Ave., shortly after 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 24. 

Cara Lawlor told the Chronicle on Monday she dove on top of a man being kicked in the head and her fiance, John Pangborn, helped a security guard wrestle a gun from another man.

“At the time, I really didn’t even think about it,” Lawlor said. “I was just scared they were going to kill him. It was really just what gut instinct told me to do.

“Nobody else was going to do anything. I was just like ‘Somebody needs to do something now.’”

The couple say they were leaving the store after shopping and walking to the Walmart gas station. They saw a group of about 10 men who appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s fighting in the parking lot. 

“At first, it was a fair fight. It was like five on five and they were just kind of duking it out,” Lawlor said. “Then, one of them got knocked unconscious and they all started ganging up on him and kicking him in the head. That’s when we jumped in. We were like ‘Oh my God, this can’t happen.’”

Lawlor said she jumped on top of the unconscious man and yelled at the others to back away. Pangborn and a security guard tried to hold them back.

“They were really going to kill him,” Pangborn said. “They were going to kill that dude or at least hurt him badly.” 

Pangborn said he saw at least three kicks to the head of the unconscious man. He told the other side it had won the fight and to let him be.

“Even the poor security guard was outnumbered. There was really nothing he could do,” Lawlor said. 

One of the men kicking the unconscious man pulled up his shirt to reveal a gun in his waistband, Pangborn said. At that point, a man from the other side managed to pull the gun from the security guard’s holster and shoot recklessly, Pangborn said. The shooter hit himself in the leg and wounded a member of the other group, he said. 

“He just pulled it out and started shooting,” Pangborn said. 

The security guard wrestled the shooter to the ground. He asked Pangborn to get his handcuffs from his belt. The two managed to restrain the man, Pangborn said. 

The other group, including the shooting victim, jumped into a car and drove away, Pangborn said. Police arrived a few minutes later. Pangborn said they took about five men away from the scene. 

Neither Pangborn nor Lawlor was injured. They said the security guard seemed unharmed, also. 

“It was pretty insane. It was definitely an adrenaline rush,” Pangborn said. “It happened so fast.”

Homewood police said the incident is still under investigation and did not release additional information.

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