Quick-thinking movers save woman from armed ex-boyfriend

CHICAGO -- A moving truck contains everything from furniture to photos- the accumulated possessions of a life. Very rarely does it contain life itself.

But that’s exactly what happened when a moving van became both a shelter, and a savior to woman fleeing her gun-wielding ex-boyfriend Thursday. She hid from him after he showed up at her office both disturbed and dangerous.

“She ran up to the truck and really frantically was like, ‘I need a cell phone, I need to call the police right now, someone is shooting my office, please help me,” said mover Mike Zaininger.

Chicago police say it happened just before 11 a.m. Thursday at Skyline Smiles on 1017 West Madison St., the dentist’s office where the woman worked. The woman's 37-year-old ex-boyfriend showed up, and when she saw him pull out a gun, she ran outside to the back alley, knowing her life was in danger.

That’s where she encountered Josh Lara, Cody Grandt and Mike Zaininger: movers by trade, but heroes by necessity.

“As we were parked in the alley we heard screams from the side of the building” Grandt said.

The three-man crew working for Wisdom Moving Company lived up to the company name, showing the good judgment to shield and safeguard the woman among the boxes in the back of this in the moving truck.

“We brought her into the truck, and there were stacks of boxes so we were kind of hiding behind the boxes,” Lara said.

After an eventful day, these three moved a lot more than furniture. Police credit the movers with saving the woman’s life.

“If we weren’t there she would have been done, she would have been seen running down the alley,” Grandt said.

“I was glad that we were there at that moment when she needed us,” Zaininger said.

As for the ex-boyfriend, authorities say he shot himself and died at the scene.

The good news is nobody else was hurt.

“I think there’s a hero in all of us – it just takes a certain situation,” Lara said.