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Five women killed in Chicago-area store shooting

Police stand watch outside a Lane Bryant store where a shooting occurred in Tinley Park, Illinois February 2, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress

TINLEY PARK, Illinois (Reuters) - Five women were shot and killed inside a clothing store at a suburban Chicago shopping center on Saturday in what police said appeared to be a botched robbery.

Police were searching for a lone gunman spotted outside the store by a witness, but said they had not identified him.

The victims were all found in the back of the Lane Bryant women’s clothing store in an area not frequented by customers, Tinley Park Police Sgt. T.J. Grady told reporters.

It appeared to be a robbery that “went rather poorly,” he added.

Police confirmed that at least one of the victims was an employee of the Lane Bryant store, located at the Brookside Marketplace shopping center in a southwestern suburb of Chicago.

Police said they received a call at 10:44 a.m. CST reporting multiple gunshot victims inside the store.

The suspect had fled and they issued an alert for a man wearing black jeans, a black waist-length winter coat and a black knit cap, police said.

Lane Bryant is a division of Charming Shoppes, Inc

Additional reporting by Michael Conlon and Chris Stebbins; editing by Todd Eastham