Last Wednesday when all hell broke loose on West 83rd Place in Burbank, residents took to Facebook to find out why helicopters were hovering over the neighborhood.
It turned out that two serious, but unrelated incidents had occurred just a few blocks away from each other on 83rd Place.
On Wednesday morning, two elderly people were found murdered inside a home in the 6400 block of West 83rd Place. Most residents were unaware of the death investigation—first reported by CBS News as a murder-suicide—which wasn’t made public until Wednesday evening.
Investigators from the Burbank Police Department and South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force are investigating the double slaying, which police believe not to be a random act of violence. As of Monday, there is no new information, except that investigators continue to interview family members and friends of the elderly couple who were found shot, stabbed and bludgeoned in a bedroom.
Later, in the afternoon, Chicago police chased three people with alleged gang ties in a Mercedes Benz up to the Chicago-Burbank border, where Chicago police terminated their chase. Moments later, the car was found abandoned in the 5700 block of 83rd Place, just a few blocks away from the death investigation.
During the police hunt for the occupants Burbank’s public and parochial grammar schools were placed on soft lockdown just before afternoon dismissal.
Police arrested one of the abandoned Mercedes’ occupants, but the other two remain at large.
An Everbridge Emergency Alert went out, advising residents to look their doors and watch for suspicious vehicles during the afternoon car chase, but many residents complained on the Oak Lawn Patch and Burbank Beat Facebook pages that they never received it.
A Dist. 111 parent said she received an automated phone message from her daughter’s school advising that schools were on soft lockdown.
Burbank residents have long complained that local police keep them in the dark about neighborhood crime. Police have said in the past they don’t want residents putting themselves at risk.
Rather than shut community members out, timely citizen tips on the direction of a fleeing vehicle, or suspicious people or cars parked in the neighborhood during the time span of a double homicide might have been helpful to police,
Here’s what Burbank residents had to say as events unfolded on March 6.
From the Oak Lawn Patch Facebook page:
Bethany Jessie-Roche: "I still have not received a text. And i know i am not only one who did not. I am signed up for every alert for burbank. The only communication i ever recvd was an automated call from school dist 111 that the schools went on soft lockdown and that call came thru right at school dismissal time. At this point i give up on knowing anything that goes on around here.“
Christina Wilson: "Burbank is great for not informing residents."
Carla Kernats: "Baloney! I dont know about anyone else in burbank, but i only saw police on one corner, why does burbank continue to lie to us?"
Maryann McFarland-Ruszkowski: "Sister teaches at St. Albert. Kids just getting released now but they still don't know what's goin’ on."
Ashli MissMay Gasteier: "I went to Chucks last night for dinner and on our ride there we didn't see a single cop car anywhere and we passed both places where these incidents happened. BPD doesn't' care why do you think they keep everyone in the dark and get information wrong."
Louie Guido: "Yes thank you are they stupid or somthing? people need to know this stuff."
Jamie Marie Stahulak: "And now it's a death investigation. Imagine that. Rumors were true yet police info wasn't. Smh."
Lisa Grogan-Quick: "Tommy's school still on lockdown (McCord) they are being told home invasion, blood all over the house, bloody footprints leading outside the front door into the snow."
Gabi Hernandez: "Wow so we have had like 5 different stories - nice that burbank cares so much about its residents that it lets them know that there are armed and dangerous men roaming desperatley thru the streets trying to get away!"
Ashli MissMay Gasteier: "I talked to someone who was speaking to a cop outside of fry school. They have received no information on a home invasion."
David Michalski Jr.: "It's up to the media to get the truth out about the problems and murders in Burbank. The mayor and police are not telling the truth, about Burbank's crime and gang problem."
Jamie Wika: "What leadership? It’s more like a mafia. I’ve been here 18 years and never heard of anyone running for office."
Shannon Olmos Komperda: "There has been a squad car … for two days, officers have been to the neighbors houses four times in two days asking questions."
Dave Kasper: "As far as my comment that the police chief said he couldn't do anything until something bad happens. Well I can look out and see drug deals going down every day isn't that bad?"
Mona S Shaughnessy: "There's no crime in burbank ask r mayor."
Shane Villanueva: "My mom lives on this block and she didnt get a call."
Dave Kasper: "It's not the police it's the political leadership. They don't want to scare their voting base, the senior citizens. It's been that way for years but now with social media its going to be next to impossible to hide stuff..."
Ann Guinand-Cummings: "RIP Sally and Pete, Pat and I will miss you."
Should Burbank adopt a community policiing program? Tell us in the comments.
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Clarification: We have added the fact that a news media outlet, CBS News, originally reported that the death investigation into Peter Fountain and Sally Lopez was first reported as a possible "murder-suicide," which was attributed in the Patch story. We regret any confusion.