Web Extra! Updated 07/22/2008 10:00 p.m.
Oak Park police are investigating the circumstances behind two separate violent domestic incidents Monday morning and evening that sent three people to the hospital with serious injuries. Police have arrested suspects in both case.
Two people, including a 6-week-old baby, were hospitalized after a home invasion Monday morning on the 600 block of Madison Street. Monday evening, a 39-year-old Chicago man was shot during an argument with his step son in an apartment on the 600 block of Lake Street.
All three victims were transported to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood for treatment and will likely survive. A suspect in the home invasion is in police custody. Police are looking for a suspect in the shooting.
Monday morning around 10:20, an Oak Park woman was preparing to take her 6-week-old baby to the doctor when a masked intruder burst into her apartment as her 12-year-old nephew unlocked the front door. The man sprayed something in the boy’s face, then rushed the woman and began beating her with a baseball bat. The woman dropped the baby, who was in a carrier. As the man continued to beat the woman about her upper body, the boy ran outside and waved down a passing policeman.
Responding fire department paramedic units found a 39-year-old woman suffering from lacerations to her forehead and dislocations and fractures to both hands. The infant suffered a fractured skull in the fall.
A suspect, Anthony K. Murdix, 42, of Aurora, was found during a neighborhood search. Police Chief Rick Tanksley said Murdix had parked his car on the 500 block of Wesley Avenue and walked to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment. Afterward, he hid when responding police arrived. After hiding briefly inside a car in a garage on the 500 block of Wesley, Murdix attempted to reach his car, but was spotted by police and ran. He was surrounded after a brief foot chase and surrendered without incident. Police say Murdix, who has no prior criminal record, made an unsolicited admission to the arresting officers that he’d attacked the woman because she’d “continued to hassle and threaten him about taking him to court for child support.”
Police say they recovered a bloody wooden Louisville Slugger baseball bat from a nearby garbage can, and a knife from the car in which Murdix had hidden. A search of his car later turned up a .25 caliber handgun.
Tanksley said investigators would be meeting with officials from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s felony review office, Tuesday afternoon, to determine what charges will be brought against Murdix. Besides home invasion, a Class X felony, Murdix faces numerous possible aggravated battery charges, as well as charges related to spraying the nephew with what police believe was mace or pepper spray.
Tuesday morning Tanksley said both mother and child were still in the hospital, but were expected to recover from their injuries. He said investigators intended to re-interview the mother Tuesday afternoon.
Argument ends in shooting
Police, responding to a domestic disturbance call on the 600 block of Lake Street Monday evening shortly before 7 o’clock, found 39-year-old Chicagoan Nathan Johnson suffering from a “through and through” gunshot wound to the pelvis.
According to police, Johnson, his wife and their 19-year-old step son had been living at the Lake Street address temporarily after a fire forced them out of their Austin neighborhood home. The mother had already returned to the family’s Chicago home. However, the father allegedly brought another woman to the Lake Street residence Saturday night, unaware that the stepson was present. Monday, the stepson reportedly confronted the stepfather. In the course of the ensuing argument, the son called his mother, who then phoned police. Officers were enroute to the apartment when the stepson, Joshua Cox, allegedly shot Johnson with a .45 caliber handgun.
Johnson was rushed to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, where he underwent exploratory surgery to determine the extent of his injuries.
“The father’s lucky. He’ll be OK,” Tanksley said Tuesday, adding that police have not recovered the gun, and that ownership of the firearm is in question. Cox, who has been in contact with Oak Park police, told them the gun belongs to his stepfather. Johnson has reportedly denied that.
“The stepfather said he didn’t know a handgun was in the apartment,” said Tanksley. Cox, who told police Monday evening he would turn himself in, but had not done so Tuesday morning. Oak Park police arrested Cox at a house in the 4000 block of West Maypole Ave. in Chicago early Tuesday afternoon.