Chicago police have charged a teen in the fatal stabbing of a Walgreens employee who was stocking shelves inside a Northwest Side store Sunday during what authorities believe was an attempted robbery.
Sincere Williams, 18, was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday after detectives say they were able to track him from the Wicker Park neighborhood Walgreens using a combination of surveillance video and a bloodhound on loan from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
The charges come two days after Olga Maria Calderon, a 32-year-old mother of two, was stabbed to death inside the store.
“This is an unbelievably tragic incident,” CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said Tuesday. “This is extremely tragic to have a woman go to work and not be able to come home to her (family).”
Police initially said Calderon was working at the pharmacy at around 9:30 a.m. Sunday when she was approached by an unknown man who stabbed her multiple times and then fled the area.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. Nothing was stolen during the incident.
According to Eric Winstrom, commander of the Area 5 Detective Division, Williams had previously robbed the same Walgreens days earlier and had returned to the store with similar intentions Sunday.
Williams grabbed Calderon around the neck, Winstrom said, and as she tried to push him away, Williams began stabbing her multiple times. After leaving the store, Williams allegedly discarded the knife and some of his clothing in a nearby yard, items which were later recovered by police.
Winstrom said Area 5 detectives spent hours going over public and private security footage in the area and were able to determine WIlliams had entered an apartment complex in the 1400 block of North Sedgwick Street.
He was arrested there Sunday evening without incident. Williams is suspected in three robbery incidents this month, but the first two ended without injuries.
“In this case, whatever set him off, whether it was the slight pushback or whatever it was, it just immediately turned from a robbery that quickly to a brutal killing,” he said.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by Calderon’s sister to help cover funeral expenses. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had raised more than $37,000.
“She was the world’s very best mom, a loving partner, a dedicated daughter, my big sister, and so much more,” Calderon’s sister wrote on the fundraising page. “Her entire existence revolved around her little family. If you ever had the privilege of knowing her or speaking with her, I know that she would have shared a story about her babies – her 11-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.”