HAZEL CREST, Ill. » The police chief of a Chicago suburb where a man and his two daughters were killed Saturday in their home called the act “pure evil” and urged anyone with information to share it with investigators.
Authorities have not identified any suspects in the shootings in Hazel Crest, but police Chief Mitchell Davis says it was a “targeted event.”
“Anyone who could kill a 3-year-old and a 10-year-old, that’s pure evil as far as I’m concerned,” Davis said at a news conference Sunday.
Dionus M. Neely, 39, and his daughters, 3-year-old Endia and 10-year-old Elle, were fatally shot.
Davis said the crime was “not a random act of violence” and that Hazel Crest residents were not in danger.
Erin Neeley told the Chicago Sun-Times that her husband and five children were sleeping on two twin beds and a couch in the living room when the attack happened at about 2:20 a.m.
“After I didn’t hear any more shots I crawled on the floor and closed the front door because it was open,” she said. “And then I crawled over to the couch where my two daughters were sleeping and pulled them down to the floor. And they were limp.”
She said police told her it’s possible the attacker kicked open their front door. The door was boarded up Sunday.
“Only by the grace of God we weren’t hit,” Erin Neeley said.
She said her husband was a stay-at-home dad.
“He was a good father. He loved all his kids,” she said.
Davis said the only time police had been called to the home prior to the shooting was a few months ago on a report of property damage.
Erin Neeley told the Sun-Times her husband had a criminal record that included drug-related arrests but that “he’d cleaned up his life.”
Neighbor Joanne Polzin told WMAQ-TV she awoke to gunshots and heard Erin Neeley screaming.
“I heard the mother screaming. She was just wailing, ‘My babies, my babies,’” Polzin said.
Thirty detectives from the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force were investigating. The team includes detectives from the state police, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and suburban police departments.
Davis asked the public to inform Hazel Crest police if they know something.
“You cannot commit a crime like the one that was committed yesterday and have no one know about it,” he said Sunday. “Somebody knows about what transpired.”