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Monday, May 23, 2022

Romeoville bank gunman ID’d after ‘exhaustive search’ for his family, coroner says

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ROMEOVILLE, Ill. (WLS) — An armed man who was fatally shot by police inside a bank in Romeoville earlier this week has been identified.

Gregory Walker, 65, of Crest Hill, died as the result of a gunshot wound, the Will County coroner’s office said. His identity was released Friday after the coroner’s office located and notified his family after “an exhaustive search” involving the cold case squad.

The coroner’s office said an autopsy was performed on Wednesday. A final cause and manner of his death will be determined later, pending police, autopsy and toxicological reports.

Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.

Cell phone video shows Walker holding hostages inside a Fifth Third Bank branch earlier this week. The situation ended when a SWAT team member killed the man.

READ MORE: Romeoville bank hostages share harrowing ordeal: ‘He was literally crying out for help’

Romeoville police and Illinois State Police are now investigating why the gunman went into the bank and took customers and employees hostage. They all got out safely, and two of those hostages told a story about a very troubled man.

Hostages said the gunman fired three shots inside the Romeoville bank Tuesday and started speaking to them.

Full interview with Roxana Boyden

One of hostages, mother of four Roxana Boyden, recalled what the gunman said.

“He adamantly talked about how we’re important,” Boyden said. “We are moms, we have kids. He stated he had no one.”

Another mother held hostage, Sandra Mendoza, captured video of the gunman who kept talking.

“‘I’m not here to hurt you. I’m not here to hurt no one, I’m not here for the money,'” Mendoza said. “‘I’m here because I’m tired of life. I am tired of life, I’m tired the bank screwed me over.’ That’s what he kept on saying.”

Full interview with Sandra Mendoza

The gunman’s motive remains unclear. The hostages estimate they were held captive for 30 minutes. During that time, the gunman talked about his own family.

“He said his mom had passed, and no one told him anything about it,” Mendoza said. “In the obituary they didn’t even include him as a son.”

They also said he planned on dying.

“He literally told us, ‘I’m here to die tonight, either I’m going to take my life, or they’re going to take it. But I’m not leaving here today,'” Mendoza said.

Ultimately, the gunman set the hostages free. Once law enforcement arrived, he was shot, transported to the hospital, and pronounced dead.

The two mothers said those 30 terrifying minutes revealed what life is truly about.

“After all this, I’m a strong believer we should live life to the fullest and love one another no matter what,” Mendoza said.

“By the grace of God, I’m okay,” Boyden added. “I’m with my family where I should be.”

The Will County Sheriff’s Office said a member of its SWAT team fired one shot that hit the suspect.

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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