A man whom police say killed three people and wounded four others during a series of shootings in and around Chicago posted illogical and insulting videos in the days and hours leading up to the attacks.
Investigators were trying to determine the motive behind the attacks, which took place on Saturday afternoon, in which police say 32-year-old Jason Nightingale had randomly selected his victims. Police killed Nightingale in a shootout north of the city about four hours after authorities said he had shot his first victim in the head in a parking lot on the south side.
Among the dead were a 30-year-old Chinese student at the University of Chicago named Yiran Fan, Anthony Faulkner, 20, and Aisha Neville, 46, a security guard. The injured were a 77-year-old woman, an 81-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl, according to Chicago Police Chief David Brown. Police in the suburb said another woman was shot in the neck at Evanston.
Authorities haven’t released many details about Nightengale, a man from Chicago whose LinkedIn page has listed the business over the years as a doorman, security guard, and forklift operator. But a series of disturbing videos posted on Facebook over the course of two years under Nightengale’s middle name, Oliver, provided clues to his mental state.
In one of the messages posted, Nightingale held a pistol on the camera and mumbled unintelligible comments as he appeared to be driving his car. A police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation confirmed that he was Nightingale in the video.
“No music. No, no music,” Nightingale said in the video, and his speech overlapped. “I don’t need a seat belt. I’m coming, girl.”
It posted dozens of other short videos, including many in the hours leading up to the first attack, that were viewable until the page was deleted on Sunday. In one, he said, “I’m going to blow up the entire community.” In another movie, Nightengale appears to be rocking Bee Gee’s song “Staying Alive” while laughing.
The shooting started shortly before 2 pm. Van was shot in the head while sitting in a parking garage in Hyde Park, Brown said.
Then, Nightingale “randomly” entered an apartment block a block away, where he shot the security guard and the 77-year-old woman, who was getting her mail, Brown said. The guard was pronounced dead in the hospital, and the other woman was transferred to the hospital in critical condition.
From there, Nightengale went to another building nearby and stole a car from a man he knew. Then a shop opened fire, killing the 20-year-old and wounding the 81-year-old woman in the head and neck. The woman was in a critical condition.
Police said that after leaving the store, Nightingale shot a 15-year-old girl who was traveling in the car with her mother, leaving the girl in critical condition. He then returned to the store and shot the officers who were investigating the previous shootings. Brown said none of them were injured.
Then, Nightingale traveled about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north to Evanston, which borders Chicago, where police responded to a report of shots fired inside CVS. Authorities said Nightingale apparently entered the pharmacy, announced that he was stealing it and fired shots, which did not hit anyone. Then he went across the street to an IHOP restaurant, where he shot a woman in the neck. Evanston Police Chief Demetros Cook told reporters that she was in critical condition.
Cook said that Nightingale left the restaurant and officers confronted him in a parking lot, resulting in an exchange of fire and he was killed.
Evanston Police Sergeant. Ken Carter said Nightingale appeared to be linked to Evanston, but had no further details. On Sunday, he said an outside agency would take over the investigation since Evanston Police were involved in the fatal shooting.
Chicago Police released an October 2018 reservation photo of Nightengale taken after he was accused of multiple driving-related crimes, including driving with a suspended license. His criminal record began in 2005 and included arrests for arms and drug abuse, aggravated assault, and the 2019 domestic battery case.
Nightengale’s attorney could not be located.
The friends were shocked upon hearing of the shooting, describing Nightengale as a loyal father of twins who were charismatic and humorous but who had gone through tough times.
Tommy Taylor recalls meeting Nightengale at a movie event in Rogers Park, a neighborhood of Chicago that borders Evanston. They got stuck over the years.
Taylor said, “From all the years I’ve known him, he’s always been a good guy and a good guy.” “Something had to happen to break it like this.”
University of Chicago officials said Fan was working on a PhD in a joint program of the university’s business schools and economics, and that his family in China had been notified of his death.
The university said in a press release, “We know that this horrific incident brings grief to our entire community and fears for the welfare and safety of others.” “In the coming days, we will come together as a community of grief, raising our fellow members of our community at this very difficult and sad time. Please join us in wishing consolation and healing to our loved ones who are our students.” ′
Brown said the information he shared at the press conference was preliminary and could change. He said investigators have little information about Nightingale, but they plan to release more details as soon as they have it.
“When you hear this whole story, it looks like you have a crystal ball of what he does next, and we all know we don’t have a crystal ball where it goes next, and we don’t have this in any of our police surveillance,” Brown said. “We respond to the scene as these crimes happen, get the information, and again, it’s going to the next while trying to keep up with what happened earlier.