JOLIET – The Will County coroner identified Anton J. Mable as the man shot in the head and killed outside the McDonald’s at the corner of West Jefferson Street and Woodlawn Avenue early Wednesday.
Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton gave no information on the identity of the gunman and declined to comment on any motive for the killing.
“This is still pretty early on in the investigation,” Benton said.
At 12:52 a.m., Mable and a 26-year-old man were parked in the back of the McDonald’s parking lot, 1515 W. Jefferson St., when the unidentified gunman opened fire at their car from a sidewalk in the 100 block of Woodlawn Avenue.
The killer fired multiple shots into the car. The bullets entered through the front passenger side window and door. Mable, who was in the driver’s seat, was struck once in the right side of the head.
The 26-year-old man seated in the passenger seat was not struck. He drove the car to Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center after he was able to move Mable into the passenger seat.
Mable was unconscious and succumbed to his injury at the hospital. He was pronounced deceased at 1:17 a.m.
Police said that after the shooting, the suspect fled the area, heading north.
The McDonald’s at West Jefferson Street is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day and has a 24-hour drive-thru, according to the company’s website.
A manager at the store said he didn’t have any information on the shooting and declined to comment further. A call to the location was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said he didn’t know too many details about the shooting. He said he believes the police have done a great job, the number of homicides in the city has been down compared with past years, and that he’s confident the shooter will be brought to justice.
“Any shooting in Joliet’s bad,” O’Dekirk said.
In 2014, when O’Dekirk was running for mayor, he said a shooting that injured several bystanders near the Jewel-Osco at Midland Avenue and John Street was “proof that we need to hire officers and take back our neighborhoods.”
The McDonald’s and the Jewel-Osco are less than half a mile away from each other.
Police investigators are actively working the case and canvassing the area for possible video surveillance of the shooting.
Anyone with information or who may have been in the area is encouraged to call the Joliet Police Investigations Division at 815-724-3020.