Orland Park Police searched store by store for the shooter in an attempted Friday night armed robbery until 2 a.m. Saturday, but the woman was nowhere to be found, police said.
The shooting, , took place in the JCPenney parking lot at 8:55 p.m. Officers responded at 9:02 p.m., Chief Tim McCarthy said on Friday night.
But it appears those few minutes were enough for the woman to slip out of the mall some other way.
"It looks like by the time the officers got there, she had left the scene," Lt. James Bianchi said. "We can't say that she had ever hid in the mall."
After approaching the 67-year-old victim in the parking lot, the woman shot her in the arm, then fled into the JCPenney store while customers and mall employees helped the injured woman. Police described the injury as non-life-threatening.
As Cook County Sheriff's Office helicopters scanned the area outside Friday night, Orland Park officers searched inside.
Police are still gathering security tape from the mall and from different stores within the mall to determine where the woman left, Bianchi said.
"We're still tracking her through video," he said.
The police had extra teams of officers on hand at the mall's 10 a.m. opening Saturday, Bianchi said. In addition to the police officers, Orland Square management had extra security on hand, he said.
"Orland Square takes everything very seriously," he said.
Orland Square management referred all questions to the police.
The suspect is described as a light-skinned black female of medium build with shoulder-length brown hair. She was wearing a white hat, a long-sleeved white coat or hoodie over a purple shirt, dark jeans and white shoes and carrying a handbag.
Anyone with any information on this crime is asked to contact the at 708-349-4111.