A 62-year-old woman was found fatally wounded — the victim of a single gunshot — in a Burr Ridge church parking lot early Thursday, according to village Mayor Mickey Straub.
A suspect — the man who called 911 to report the shooting — remained in custody Thursday morning, although not charged with a crime, Burr Ridge Police Deputy Chief Marc Loftus said.
Investigators were trying to figure out a possible relationship between the victim and the suspect, Loftus said.
“He is in custody, not free to leave,” Loftus said, describing the suspect as a young man.
The woman was discovered about 1 a.m. in the parking lot of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church of Chicago, at 455 79th St., Loftus said. She was found inside a silver Cadillac, he said.
The woman, who was not a Burr Ridge resident, was pronounced dead at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital at 1:42 a.m., Loftus said. He called the shooting an “isolated incident,” and said village residents have no reason to fear for their safety.
Loftus said there are no known witnesses to the shooting, other than the suspect, but said investigators are seeking possible surveillance cameras from a nearby warehouse and other businesses.
Luftus said the suspect remains at the Burr Ridge Police Station, and the car was towed to the station.
But he said he did not expect further updates on the case today.
Paul Darrah, spokesman for the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office, also said it is unlikely there will be any charges filed today.
Samuel T. Samuel, pastor of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Burr Ridge, confirmed that neither person involved in a fatal shooting in the church parking lot Thursday morning is in any way related to the church.
Although the suspected shooter and the victim, neither of whom has been named, appear to be Egyptian, neither is connected with St. Mark, Samuel said. Both reportedly are Coptic Catholics.
Rebecca Michaels, attorney for the church and a member of the parish, said the shooting is an isolated incident.
“It was not an attack on Coptic Christians,” she said.
The church remained closed due to the crime scene Thursday morning. Michaels said she expected the church to resume regular activity by evening, when a Bible study and prayer meeting are scheduled.
“This is a tragedy,” Samuel said. “Any life is so precious.”
He said he is praying for both the victim and the shooter, as well as their families. At Sunday Mass, he will encourage his congregation to do the same.
Samuel would not speculate as to why the shooter chose his church’s parking lot to commit the crime, other than that it is a quiet spot. Michaels said the victim and alleged shooter might have visited the church and knew of its location. She said the gates to the church’s parking lot are always open.
“We are a Christian Church,” she said.
Built in 1980, the church draws about 800 members from communities as far as 30 miles away.