WEST LOOP — Three hero movers who likely saved a woman's life earlier this year in a horrific incident were honored by City Council Wednesday.
Movers Josh Lara, Cody Grant and Mike Zaininger were working a job in the West Loop when they helped a woman hide in their truck while her armed ex-boyfriend looked for her at the dental office where she worked.
At about 11 a.m. Oct. 20, an armed man entered Skyline Smiles, 1017 W. Madison St., looking for his ex-girlfriend before fatally shooting himself outside, according to police.
The man was later identified as Clint Engle, 40, of suburban Plainfield.
Surrounded by their family and friends, Lara, Grant and Zaininger were honored by City Council Wednesday. An official proclamation thanking the men for their "selfless display of bravery" was recommended by Ald. Danny Solis (25th) and approved by City Council.
"In a remarkable display of courage and quick-thinking, the three men recognized that the woman’s life was in danger," the proclamation read.
Grant's young son wore a shirt reading, "My Dad Is My Hero" to City Hall Wednesday.
Listen to Stephanie Lulay describe the heroic efforts to hide the woman.
The three-man moving crew was unloading furniture in the alley when a frantic woman came running from the back of the dental office.
"The girl came running up to us. She was yelling, 'Let me get your phone! Let me get your phone!" remembered Lara, one of the movers. "She said, 'someone's shooting!'"
"She knew she was being looked for the way she was hiding," Zaininger said.
The three immediately took the woman into the back of the truck and later moved her to an apartment nearby, harboring her from the gunman.
"Our immediate reaction was 'get in the truck,'" Zaininger said.
Witnesses then saw Engle, dressed in jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt, exit the rear of the building with a shotgun at his side. A woman who was not the ex-girlfriend exited the building, too, standing about a yard away from the gunman, neighbor Bob Meyers said. Multiple witnesses called 911.
"As I was [calling 911], I heard a gunshot and the woman started screaming and ran away from where the [gunman] fell," Meyers said.
Lara, the mover, went back out to the alley and heard a loud scream and gunshot.
"Later, we found out that the guy went out into the alley looking for her," Lara said.
Lara said a police officer told the three men employed by Wisdom Moving that they saved the woman's life.
"It was just our instinct to try and protect and help her," Lara said.
After police arrived, the woman told the men that she worked at the dental office and saw the man enter the front door, "pulling out something," which witnesses said was a gun. She immediately ran out the back door.
Witnesses said the man shot himself in the head with a shotgun after bringing the gun into the dental office, where patients were waiting for appointments. No other injuries were reported.
Surrounded by their families, hero movers Josh Lara, Cody Grant and Mike Zaininger were honored by City Council Wednesday. [25th Ward office]
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