Police said Sunday that a man and his two young daughters found shot to death inside their south suburban home early Saturday were targeted by a "mad man."
Officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 2400 block of Crescent Drive in Hazel Crest at approximately 2:21 a.m., according to police.
They found 39-year-old Dionus Neely, 3-year-old India Neely and 10-year-old Ellie Neely inside the home with multiple gunshot wounds, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner. Police said they were rushed to local hospitals where they were all pronounced dead.
"Anyone who could kill a 3-year-old and a 10-year-old, no matter what the circumstances were, that's nothing but pure evil," Hazel Crest Police Chief Mitchell Davis III said at a news conference Sunday.
Authorities ruled out murder-suicide, asking the public to help find a suspect.
"You cannot commit a crime like the one that was committed yesterday, and no one know about it. Somebody knows about what transpired," he said.
Seven people were sleeping in the house when the shooting took place, according to Dionus Neely’s former girlfriend, Lakeisha Brown. Her children were among those in the home at the time, but none of them were harmed.
"Whoever killed these kids, they are so heartless," she said. "You just wonder, you know, why somebody would do something like this."
Neighbor Joanne Polzin said the five children in the house were at her home Friday night, playing with her grandchildren just hours before she awoke to gunshots.
"I heard the mother screaming," Polzin said. "She was just wailing, 'My babies, my babies.'"
"I didn't know it was them until the police all showed up," she added. "I saw them take the three bodies out."
Officials assured residents of the Hazel Crest community they were not in danger.
"As far as I know right now, it was an isolated incident, what happened, so the community is safe," said Village President Vernard Alsberry, Jr. "But just to hear that children were involved in this horrific incident really hurt all of our hearts."
Officers from the Cook County Sheriff's office and the Hazel Crest Police Department went door-to-door in the area this weekend, asking community members for information related to the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hazel Crest Police Department at 708-335-9640 ext. 1