Visitation Friday for teller killed in bank heist
June 1, 2007 (WLS) -- Visitation will be held Friday for Tramaine Gibson, a bank teller who was shot and killed in a robbery last Tuesday on Chicago's South Side. Three suspects remain at large. The Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Bank is one step closer to reopening. But there remains another toll as the bank and its employees work to move forward.
Inside Illinois Service Federal, the scars are very evident from the gunfire that came in the bank robbery nine days ago. Soon, the holes left by so many bullets will be repaired, but the employees who work here have scars that will be very hard to heal.
"What's been taken, although intangible, is measurable. I see it in the fatigue of the faces. I see it in how the younger employees respond to noises and activities around them," said Norman Williams, Illinois Service Federal CEO.
An event has robbed the workers here of their sense of peace and security. Their friend and co-worker Tramaine Gibson, a young husband and father, was robbed of his life.
"The kid was a rare breed. I just can't stop crying," said Verton Gibson, father.
Wednesday evening, family, friends, and some co-workers gathered to celebrate the life of Tramaine Gibson. It is part of the healing process, particularly for those who will return to work sometime next week.
Norman Williams says his people have had some very emotional, very intense meetings trying to deal with fear, and anger and frustration.
"For anyone who had responsibility for someone else, there was a sense of frustration at not being able to be more protective," said Williams.
There is a sense of family in this community bank, and Williams acknowledges that there may be some in the employee family who just won't be able to walk back in here. The intent, he says, is to get everyone back on their feet, realizing that the lives of all the people in this building have been forever changed.
"If you're involved in that kind of experience, your sense of personal safety is at stake and it effects you wherever you go," Williams said.
The FBI continues to pursue leads but has made no arrests.
The bank hopes to return to full-service operation sometime next week. It is the CEO's mission to guide his people through this difficult time, but it's a difficult time for the boss, too, and Norman Williams says he has been uplifted that so many have turned to him to make sure he is doing alright too.
The Tramaine Gibson Memorial Trust
Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association
4619 S. King Dr.
Chicago, IL 60653
Checks should be made payable to The Tramaine Gibson Memorial Trust.
Drive-Thru Now Open at South Side Bank
The drive-thru reopened Friday at the Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan. While the drive-thru is back open, the bank hopes to return to full operation sometime next week.
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