"Good Guy With A Gun" Store Clerk Kills Armed Thug To Defend Self, Customer

Jawad Samhan discusses his brother’s defensive gun use. (Chicago Tribune/Stacey Wescott image)

Ahmad Samhan was simply trying to make a living at his family’s convenience store in Wauconda, Illinois Sunday night when a masked man came in and pointed a gun at him and another customer in the store, and demanded money.


Instead of giving up the stores $20s, Mr. Samhan instead opted to give the robber .40s.

Authorities said the man was wearing a mask but was carrying no identification when he entered the Kwick Shop convenience store on Liberty Street about 9 p.m. Sunday and pointed a weapon at a customer and a 24-year-old store clerk and demanded money, police said.

Authorities continued to investigate throughout the day Monday but by later in the day said the shooting seemed to be justified.

“It appears to be self-defense right now,” Wauconda Deputy Chief Tom Bender said Monday afternoon.

The clerk, Ahmad Samhan, was working behind the register during the attempted robbery, according to Jawad Samhan, Ahmad’s 30-year-old brother.

“He had a gun pointed at him. I think anyone in his position would do the same thing,” said Jawad Samhan, adding that his brother used the store’s .40-caliber handgun that is hidden behind the counter.

Jawad Samhan, who was interviewed Monday morning as he opened the store, said his brother remains shaken by the incident.

“He was in shock. He was freaked out and crying,” Jawad Samhan said.

“He’s all right (today); it’s just very hard for him. With the help of family and friends he should be OK.”

Jawad Samhan said his brother grabbed the store’s gun from a hidden location after telling the robber that he was reaching toward a safe under the counter.

The clerk fired at the masked man while the store customer fled, according to a Wauconda police news release. The masked man “fell to the ground,” police said in the release.


The robber died as a result of his wounds, and authorities have not yet been able to identify him. He is described as a white male in his 20s who does not have fingerprints in any law enforcement database.

Authorities are hoping to use a tattoo to help identify him.

A tattoo may help authorities identify a man who was shot and killed by a convenience store clerk during an attempted robbery Sunday night in Wauconda, officials said.

The deceased appears to be a white man in his 20s with a tattoo on his upper left shoulder about 3 to 4 inches long that depicts a cross with a ribbon around it. The name “Ashley” appears on the top of the ribbon and “Stud” closer to the base of the cross, Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd said.

Mr. Samhan is still in shock over the shooting, which is to be expected. Despite the bluster and false bravado you hear from Internet commandos, killing someone—even when completely justified—is a traumatic and life-altering experience for many people.

We sincerely hope that he understands that while he was forced to take a life, he did so to save two lives from a thug, and that it was ultimately the robber’s actions that led to his death.

Update: The suspect has been identified:

Tuesday morning, the Lake County Coroner’s Office said the robber had been identified as 30-year-old Justin Greenenwald, of Ingleside. According to the coroner’s office, Greenenwald had been shot four times. The coroner’s office said it was informed Greenenwald was armed with an airsoft gun.

Coroner Thomas Rudd said it took longer than usual to identify Greenenwald, but authorities found his fingerprints in a national database.

According to Illinois Department of Corrections records, Greenenwald previously served time in prison for aggravated robbery in Lake County. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison for that charge, and spent nearly two-and-a-half years in custody before he was paroled in August 2014



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