The mother of a student at Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School was the target of an attempted armed carjacking while sitting in her car near the school in the 400 block of North Kenilworth Avenue at about 2:15 p.m. on Friday, March 23.

The incident prompted Holmes Principal Christine Zelaya to issue a statement to parents saying police had contacted the school about the carjacking attempt. Zelaya identified the woman as the mother of a Holmes student in the letter to parents.

According to Oak Park police, the victim was sitting in her car when she was approached by two men, one of whom displayed a handgun. The gunman ordered the woman out of her vehicle, but she refused and a struggle ensued as the men tried to pull her out.

The two men eventually abandoned the carjacking attempt and fled in a silver sedan parked across the street, the victim told police. She suffered a minor abrasion but did not seek medical attention.

Zelaya said in her letter to parents that police did not initiate a lockdown at the school or recommend any other emergency safety measures as a result of the incident.

“With that said, we had an increased staff presence outside of the building at dismissal to help ensure the safety of our students and their families,” she said in the letter. “As soon as our dismissal process was completed, we began collecting information about the incident in order to provide you with an update about what happened.”  

Anyone with information about the incident can contact Oak Park police at 708-386-3800 or anonymously at 708-434-1636 or online at

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