image courtesy NBC Chicago

A food truck operator, father, and concealed carry holder in Chicago was shot and killed Saturday night after he attempted to stop a robbery at a Chicago barber shop.

Derrick Gholston, who operated a food truck in Chicago, was making his rounds Saturday night when he stopped at a Roseland barber shop, according to authorities. Police say he was filling orders when two men approached, pulled out a gun, and demanded his property.

Authorities say that Gholston complied with the demand, but when the suspects went into the barber shop and announced a robbery inside, Gholston, who was a concealed carry permit holder, confronted them.

During the confrontation, shots were fired and Gholston, along with an 18-year-old suspect in the robbery, were both killed.

Gholston could have turned and walked away, but that would have meant leaving the patrons inside the barber shop behind, knowing that the armed robbers could have killed them all. Instead, the concealed carry holder came to the defense of others, and tragically lost his life. Neighbors and those who knew the man are calling him a hero.

“This is what the world is. We need to be able to help each other,” one witness said. “That’s the problem. There’s not enough love and help around here.”

Gholston leaves behind two young boys, and friends are hopeful that they will grow up and know that their father died while trying to protect others.

“It’s sad and I hope everyone is okay and justice will be done,” neighbor Jacqualyn Phelps said.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune seems to be trying to paint Gholston in as negative a light as it can. The paper isn’t going after Gholston personally, but is trying to cast doubt on his actions.

Police and concealed carry instructors generally advise not to fight back during a robbery because property can be replaced; the source said it made sense Gholston didn’t draw his weapon outside when he likely thought the robbers would leave. A CCL holder is within his or her rights to draw a weapon if their life or someone else’s life is in imminent danger. Though details about who drew his weapon first once inside the barbershop weren’t available, one of the robbers had pointed a handgun at Gholston while outside, police said.

According to Tribune data on shootings by Illinois residents with concealed carry licenses, Gholston is at least the third person to die while attempting to defend himself since the state began issuing CCLs in January 2014.

The Tribune has been on an anti-concealed carry kick for a while now. It recently featured a front-page story attacking the right to carry and portraying concealed carry holders in the most negative light possible, even though the endemic violence on Chicago streets has nothing to do with law-abiding concealed carry holders. The paper treats Derrick Gholston as a statistic, and maybe a victim of his own 2nd Amendment rights. But Derrick Gholston isn’t a statistic, or a talking point. To those who knew him, and to those saved by him, Derrick Gholston was, and is, a hero.