Suburban Schools Placed on Lockdown as Police Search for Murder Suspect

A suburban school district was put on lockdown Thursday afternoon as police searched for a suspect wanted in connection with the weekend killing of a railroad security guard, authorities said.  

Ford Heights School District 169 was placed on lockdown earlier Thursday afternoon, but the lockdown was lifted around 3 p.m. and students were released by 3:30 p.m. 

A source close to the investigation says the activity near Ford Heights was in connection to the search for Rashad Williams, a man wanted in connection with the shooting death of Tyrone Hardin.

The Cook County Sheriff's office later said it was "actively exhausting investigative leads our office received out of the Harvey Police Department regarding a subject wanted for murder."

"This is still an ongoing active investigation," the sherrif's office said in a statement. "There is no imminent threat to the public based on the information we have at the moment."

Police had earlier announced an arrest warrant for 24-year-old Williams, who is accused of first-degree murder and is considered to be "armed and dangerous," authorities said Thursday.  

Hardin, who was working at the Canadian Railroad Complex in Harvey, was fatally shot on the job Saturday evening. 

Around 7 p.m., a woman called police to report a man stealing her car, according to Harvey spokesperson Sean Howard. She was able to get in another car and followed the man while on the phone with police. 

After hearing sirens and realizing he was being followed, the suspect crashed the stolen car into a viaduct near 159th Street and Park Avenue. He then ran on top of the viaduct onto Canadian National Railroad property, according to Howard. 

He saw a contracted security guard inside his vehicle and opened fire, authorities said, with witnesses reporting nearly 15 shots fired. The guard was shot in the abdomen and taken to South Suburban Hospital where he was pronounced dead, officials said. 

The guard was later identified as 38-year-old Tyrone Hardin from Riverdale, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. 

The suspect then stole Hardin's vehicle before abandoning it in the 100 block 171st Street in East Hazel Crest, Howard said. 

Harvey police and multiple other agencies were searching in an active manhunt that began overnight in the three communities connected by the railroad, including East Hazel Crest, Hazel Crest and Markham.

"Unfortunately for us this is a wide area, and 171st Street is a wide area and it's going to take a lot of manpower to accomplish this task," Howard said Saturday night.

The suspect is described as having a medium build and was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and blue jeans, said Howard.

From evidence recovered, police said the shooter does not live in Harvey. Residents are encouraged to stay aware and remain indoors or travel in pairs. 

Authorities are requesting that the suspect turn himself in, but if anyone has information about this incident they are asked to contact police. 

Contact Us