Geography Lesson

Woman ‘grateful’ to survive shootout that killed 4; bond denied for 3 suspects

By Tina Sfondeles

Staff Reporter
tfondesles @suntimes.com

Last Modified: Nov 10, 2011 03:53PM

Three days after she was shot multiple times during a shoot-out at a South Side store in which four people were killed, Reeisa Jackson said she was in a lot of pain but “grateful to have survived.”

Speaking from her hospital bed Saturday, Jackson, 39, said she was at the register at the store, the Connect, in Altgeld Gardens on Wednesday night when the shooting started. She doesn’t recall much from the wild gunfight that left her with bullet wounds in her thigh and buttocks.

But, she said, “It saddens me that . . . people were killed there.”

Earlier Saturday, three men — Eric O’Neal, 18, of the 600 block of East 133rd Street; Devon Walker, 18, of the 50 block of East 57th Street, and Alfred Spikes, 20, of the 13100 block of South Ellis — were denied bond in the case. Each faces four counts of first-degree murder.

Killed in the shoot-out were Michael Banks, 30, of Hobart, Ind., the store’s security guard; Ihab Arefah, 45, of Lansing, a cellphone delivery man; Salem Weam, 25, a store clerk, and Alex Spikes, 17, also of the 13100 block of South Ellis, one of the gunmen, according to police.

Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Melissa Howlatt said Alfred and Alex Spikes, along with O’Neal and another male accomplice, entered the store at 5087 E. 130th St. at 9:28 p.m. Alfred Spikes was armed with an AK-47, the others with guns, she said.

Alfred Spikes immediately shot the guard, Banks, whom he spotted in an aisle, then took his gun and walked to the front of the store, where Alex Spikes, O’Neal and the other accomplice — who has not yet been charged — began shooting at Arefah, Weam and Jackson, who were at the register, Howlatt said.

The co-owner of the store reached for a gun under the counter and returned fire, as did the store clerk, Howlatt said. Alex Spikes was hit and fell to the ground. O’Neal was shot in the thigh, and he and Alfred Spikes ran from the store, she said.

But minutes later, Alfred Spikes and the other accomplice were back, firing a hail of bullets into the store, she said. They dragged Alex Spikes out of the store, and then Walker entered and began firing, said Howlatt.

Alfred Spikes, Walker and the other man drove Alex Spikes to Roseland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead and where the three suspects were arrested, Howlatt said. O’Neal and another juvenile, who was not charged, were arrested at MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island.

Evidence included video surveillance, Alex Spikes’ gun from the store, and Walker’s taped confession implicating Alfred Spikes and O’Neal, Howlatt said. A witness also identified the trio as being at his home with guns before the shoot-out.

Dear Non-Chicagoans,

Most of you probably have an image of Chicago formed from our lovely downtown, or lakefront, which is fine as far as that goes — this is what most tourists/visitors come to see and what a Chicagoan like me is proud to show off to newcomers to our city. But the downtown is a small area of the city and folks can be lulled into thinking of Chicago as just the downtown, when in reality, we are a very large city that is made up of many neighborhoods sprawling out from the downtown. And these neighborhoods include everything from the far south side public housing project right at the Chicago border known as Altgeld Gardens (see the above story — note one of the shooters was picked up in Blue Island which is a south suburb bordering Chicago) to the beautiful nature preserve known as North Park Village Nature Center near where I live and took the above pictures a couple of weekends ago. So for all practical purposes Alfred Spikes and his AK-47 are a world away from Fake Herzog and his family out on a Fall Day enjoying the nature preserve even though we both live and ‘play’ in Chicago.

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About Fake Herzog

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