Chicago, IL – A retired Chicago firefighter was murdered during an exchange of gunfire with a group of armed carjackers outside a gourmet popcorn shop last week.
Retired Chicago Fire Department (CFD) Lieutenant Dwain Williams, 65, had just left Let’s Get Poppin’ on South Western Avenue and was heading out to his vehicle with the brazen attack occurred at approximately 2 p.m., KSAZ reported.
Security footage showed the suspects as they pulled up near Lt. Williams’ maroon Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was decorated with reindeer antlers and a red Rudolph nose.
The suspect vehicle was still rolling to a stop when three men jumped out and charged towards the veteran firefighter, the video showed.
Lt. Williams jumped behind the hood of his Jeep as the would-be carjackers opened fire.
He drew his own weapon and returned fire, sending his attackers scurrying back to their getaway vehicle.
The three gunmen jumped inside as the driver sped off, the video showed.
“Retired Chicago FD Lieutenant Dwain Williams, 65, was fatally shot during a car hijacking attempt at around 2pm last Thursday.” pic.twitter.com/EOojOnbnuN
— Shane B. Murphy (@shanermurph) December 8, 2020
The retired lieutenant suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen during the shootout, Chicago Police Department (CPD) Operations Chief Brian McDermott told reporters, according to KSAZ.
He was rushed to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead, Chief McDermott said.
His grieving wife, Karen Armstrong Williams, described her husband as “a gentle, loving spirit, WMAQ reported.
Lt. Williams served the CFD for 28 years before retiring approximately two years ago, CFD spokesperson Larry Langford told KSAZ.
He then went to work for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, WMAQ reported.
“I can tell you he was a hero,” Chicago Alderman Matt O’Shea said. “He spent his entire career working hard as a first responder for our great city. What a tremendous loss.”
Chief McDermott said police are still searching for Lt. Williams’ killers, KSAZ reported.
Investigators do not know if any of them were hit when the retired lieutenant returned fire.
Police later located the abandoned suspect vehicle in Tinley Park, CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan told WMAQ.
None of the attackers had been identified as of Monday night, Chief Deenihan said.
“We’re fairly certain that if you look at this video, there’s going to be people who identify these individuals not based upon their face… you can see their faces are covered… but based who they are and based upon their clothing,” the chief told WMAQ.
Police said Lt. Williams visited the popcorn shop on a near-daily basis.
They don’t believe he knew the armed carjackers.
Sadly I report the death of retired CFD Lieutenant Dwain Williams. Who was shot during an apparent vehicle hijacking this afternoon. He retired from the job about 2 years ago at the age of 63. Our hearts are heavy tonight. (Langford) pic.twitter.com/Ze7jrifKoD
— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) December 4, 2020
— CapturedNews Shooter (@CNshooter) December 4, 2020
These are some of the items left by people at the scene where retired CFD lieutenant Dwain Williams was fatally shot Thursday afternoon. I’ll have more on the search for suspects and the 8 thousand dollar reward coming up on the news @ 10 on NBC Chicago pic.twitter.com/Tlgfj7XtYw
— ReginaWaldroupNBC5 (@ReginaWaldroup) December 5, 2020
Multiple community organizations have banded together to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Lt. Williams’ murder.
The reward exceeded $30,000 on Sunday, WMAQ reported.