Police said Central Hightower, 37, from Plainfield, has been identified as the victim.
Bolingbrook Police Department said three people were shot and one person died in the shootout at the WeatherTech warehouse. Earlier Saturday, a 27-year-old Chicago man was charged with shooting three people, including one dead, at a WeatherTech warehouse in the southern suburbs, authorities said. The suspect was identified as Charles C. McKnight Jr. of the Fernwood neighborhood of Chicago, according to police.
Bolingbrook officers were responding to a call from a man who was shot and killed at 1 WeatherTech Way about 6:25 a.m., media Capt. Anthony Columbus said. “The police were everywhere. All from WeatherTech, all in the hospital parking lot, and then when I came to my block, the police had a police car there. He had his gun drawn,” said William Miller, who lives nearby. Upon arrival, officers entered the building immediately to address and deter the reported threat and prevent further casualties, police said. “You know what’s going to happen, you never think it’s going to happen in front of your door,” Miller said.
Police said the gunman searched a block behind the facility for the shooter after fleeing the warehouse following the shooting. He was found and taken into custody around 9:25 a.m., police said.
“My backyard is full of cops with guns,” said Kathy Ambrose, who also lives nearby. “I saw they were all here and one of them told me what was going on and went back inside, because they hadn’t caught that guy, so I went back inside and locked everything,” Ambrose said. “They came across the yard to the door and said to me, ‘Hey, have you seen him?’ I said no, I didn’t see anyone,” Miller added.
Bolingbrook Police Chief Mike Rompa explained what led to the fatal encounter in a video released by his department. “The perpetrator confronted the employee towards the end of the night shift after the perpetrator allegedly robbed two employees and stole watches and wallets at gunpoint,” he said. When he was questioned, an altercation ensued and McKnight allegedly drew a pistol and shot and killed three employees, police said.
Police added that the shooting did not appear to be premeditated and the weapons used had been seized. A victim, identified as 37-year-old Plainfield Central High Tower, has died, police said. A 25-year-old man, who police say was one of the previous robbery victims, is in critical condition. The third victim, a 43-year-old man, has been discharged from hospital. All three are employees of WeatherTech. “That’s the scary part because, you know, our kids. There’s a lot of kids out there, and we let them play outside and ride their bikes,” Miller said.
After his arrest, police said McKnight was in possession of allegedly stolen items. His arrest has brought some relief to the community, but gun violence is a reminder of the looming problems. “This is the world we live in. Gunfights can happen anywhere. Homes, churches, schools, stores, Wal-Marts, everywhere,” Ambrose said.
McKnight was charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Other charges are still pending, police said. Police added that McKnight worked at a temporary agency and had only been assigned to the WeatherTech facility since June 9, 2022. Several police departments are investigating the shooting in the area.
“On behalf of our Mayor Mary Alexander Basta, Bolingbrook Village, our police department and WeatherTech, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families,” said Bolingbrook Plice Superintendent Mike Rompa.