Shooting on Hemlock: Suspect Arrested


51A Hemlock, site of a shooting last week. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Updated January 29, 2007, 12:15 p.m. 

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Park Forest Police Chief Tom Fleming issued a press release on January 29 announcing the arrest of a suspect in the shooting death of James Bray.  The realease says on Sunday, January 28th, 2007 the Cook County State’s Attorney charged 20 year old Andrew Austin of 50 Sauk Trail, Park Forest with the murder of James Bray.  Fleming says in the release, "Through eyewitness accounts and third party witnesses, it was learned that Austin fired a 9mm semi-automatic handgun multiple times into the front door and side window of the victim’s residence after knocking on the door, striking Bray twice, the release says.  The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office performed a post mortem exam and under ME Case #412Jan07, ruled the death a homicide by multiple gunshot wounds. After interviewing witnesses, the Park Forest Police Detectives learned that Austin had several past physical altercations witlh the victim." 


Andrew Austin, 20, 50 Sauk Trail, Park Forest, was arrested and charged in the shooting death of James Bray. (Photo: Park Forest Police Department)

The release continues, saying a second subject admitted to being present during the shooting and assisting Austin with transportation to flee the area after the murder.  Andrew Austin was issued a $650,000 D bond by Judge Simmons in Markham Felony Bond court, yesterday. 

"The PFPD Investigations Division was assisted by the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force (SSMCTF) in bringing closure to this senseless murder," Fleming said in the release. 

The SSMCTF is a combined unit of local police detectives, Cook County Sheriff’s Police and Illinois State Police Detectives who assist member agencies by providing manpower and technical support in major crimes.  The Major Crimes Task Force is one of the Country’s most successful multi-agency murder task forces with a clearance rate close to 90%.

Park Forest police issued a press release last week.  According to the release, on Wednesday, January 24th, 2007 at 2:26 a.m., Park Forest Police Officers responded to a call of a man shot at 51A Hemlock.  The 27 year old male occupant of that address, James Bray, had been shot several times when he responded to knocks at his front door, according to the release.

The release goes on to say Park Forest Fire Department EMS responded and transported Bray to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields for emergency treatment. Park Forest Police Detectives responded and called the Illinois State Police Evidence Unit to process the crime scene. The PFPD Investigations Commander activated the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force at 3:30 a.m.  The SSMCTF is a combined unit of local, county and state Detectives who assist member agencies by providing manpower and technical support in major crimes.

The Park Forest Police Department issued an update on this information.  The release says "On Thursday, January 25th, 2007, the Park Forest Police Department was notified by the Cook County Medical Examiners Office that shooting victim, James Bray, 27 years old, was pronounced dead.  The official cause of death will not be determined until a post-mortem examination is completed." 


Close-up of the front door showing damage. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Bray suffered at least two gunshot wounds including one to the head, according to the updated release.

Source: Park Forest Police Department