Summit Police Chief Mel Ortiz (from left), Officer Alberto Valadez, and Officer Jihovanny Correa at the Summit Neighborhood Watch meeting last Thursday night. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Summit Police Chief Mel Ortiz (from left), Officer Alberto Valadez, and Officer Jihovanny Correa at the Summit Neighborhood Watch meeting last Thursday night. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Man dies in Markham shootout after robbing Summit phone store

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By Carol McGowan

The man who robbed an AT&T store in Summit on Thursday morning was later found dead in a house in Markham after shots were exchanged between the man and police.

The incident started when a man – identified as Jeremy Kelly, 28, of Markham – robbed the AT&T store at Archer and Harlem avenues at gunpoint and fled the scene.

Summit Police Chief Mel Ortiz said police arrived on the scene and sent out a description of the suspect’s vehicle.

A village police officer was on his way to court when he spotted the vehicle police said was being driven by the armed robber.

“Officer Mat Mann started the initial investigation at the store,” said Ortiz. “Officers on the scene gathered information and gave a description of the vehicle involved out over the radio. Officer Jihovanny Correa was on his way to court, and spotted the vehicle in question.

“Officer Correa followed the vehicle to Markham.  As he approached Markham, officers from Posen, Markham, Harvey, and the Illinois State Police were all gathering, based on the information that Officer Correa was giving them.”

Ortiz and Summit Sgt. Kevin Jannetas also went to the house in the 1500 block of 162nd Street during the standoff.

“The suspect went into a home, and at one point tried to flee,” Ortiz said. “Officers had already set up a perimeter around the home, and the suspect retreated back into the home and announced he would not be going into custody. He then threatened the lives of officers, and himself.”

The man fired a reported two shots at police and police fired at least one time into the home.

Ortiz said he made the decision to get the South Suburban Emergency Response Team involved to breach the residence and see if the suspect needed medical assistance.

Summit officers Andrew White and Angel Sarabia arrived on the scene in Markham with search warrants.

Summit officer Alberto Valadez arrived on the scene because he is a member of the SWAT team. Officer Matthew Pienkowski is also a member of the SWAT team and also responded.

Once inside, police found Kelly deceased. A gun was recovered near his body. It was not immediately known if he took his own life or if he was killed by police gunfire.

The worker at the store was shaken up during the robbery, but was not harmed.

Proceeds from the robbery were recovered, Ortiz said, and portions of the incident are still under investigation by the Summit and Markham police departments.

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