What to Know
- According to police, Alexandra Martinez was inside an Akira store at Orland Square Mall with her grandmother, aunt and four other children.
- Video from the scene showed the girl and at least one other child were playing near temporary steel walls when the walls "somehow fell."
- The 2-year-old child was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where she later died.
Surveillance video from inside an Orland Park Akira store where a 2-year-old girl was fatally injured showed the child had been playing with other kids when a heavy steel wall fell over on her, authorities said.
According to police, Alexandra Martinez was inside the store at the Orland Square Mall with her grandmother, aunt and four other children when the incident happened Tuesday afternoon. Video obtained from the scene and a witness statement indicated the girl and at least one other child were playing near two temporary steel walls, about 8 feet high and 3 feet wide, when the walls "somehow fell over upon the victim," said Orland Park Chief of Police Timothy McCarthy.
The walls each weighed between 75 and 100 pounds, authorities said.
How exactly the walls fell on Alexandra remained unclear, but video showed she was on one side of the walls while another child appeared to be on the opposite side.
"We cannot conclude at this time if one of the children may have pushed over one of the dividers," McCarthy said.
The Orland Park Police Department said officers responded to a call at around 1:52 p.m. of a toddler who was injured inside the Akira store at the mall, located at 104 Orland Square Drive.
When officers arrived, a doctor and nurse who were at the mall had already started administering CPR.
Authorities said officers and paramedics arrived at the scene and continued performing medical treatment on the child, who was then taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where she later died.
Police saiid the child had suffered "head injuries." The medical examiner ruled the death an acicdent and said the child suffered "craniocerebral injuries" from the collapse of a shelving unit.
McCarthy praised the "heroic efforts" of first responders and others at the scene, saying "everything that could have been done was done under the circumstances."
McCarthy said the building department was called to the scene following the incident but had not notified police of any building code violations as of Wednesday morning.
"We are devastated by this tragic event," Akira co-owner Eric Hsueh said in a statement. "We are working to collect all the information."
The shoe portion of the store will remain closed until the city's building department can return for another inspection, McCarthy said, but the clothing side of the store was set to be open Wednesday.
Alexandra, who was called Alexa by family, was related to the four other children inside the store, police said, but her parents were not at the scene at the time of the incident. Family members said she was the youngest of the group and described her as a very happy girl who loved animals.
When asked for advice for parents following the tragic incident, McCarthy began to cry.
"Don’t know what to tell them," he said. "Watch your kids. Watch your grandkids."