Retired Chicago Firefighter Fatally Shoots Would-Be Armed Robber

AP Photo/Teresa Crawford

Carjackings and armed robberies are becoming an all-too-common feature of life in Chicago these days. So far this year there’ve been more than 1,400 carjackings in Cook County, with the vast majority of them taking place inside the Chicago city limits. Criminals are targeting drivers both on the streets and in parking garages, but one recent attempted carjacking and robbery was thwarted when the crooks’ intended victim turned out to be an armed citizen.

According to the Chicago Tribune, a 77-year old retired Chicago Fire Department captain was working in an open garage on Saturday afternoon when a vehicle pulled up on the alleyway fronting the garage.

An assailant got out of the vehicle, pulled out a gun and demanded the man’s property.

The 77-year-old took out his own gun and shot at the would-be robber, hitting him in the head and chest, police said. The robber, whose identity was not released, died at the scene, police said.

The 77-year-old man was not injured.

Both guns were found at the scene, police said. The 77-year-old man, who retired from the department about 15 years ago, has a valid firearm owners identification card and conceal carry license.

The man didn’t need a concealed carry license to possess a firearm in his garage, and it would have been nice for the Tribune to point that fact out to its readers, but at least we know the would-be victim was a legal gun owner. And the fact that the Tribune didn’t mention anything about the would-be robber having a FOID card or a concealed carry license in his possession is an indication that, just like the vast majority of Chicago’s violent crimes, this latest attack was carried out by someone who’s not legally possessing their gun.

As for the fact that the retired firefighter was attacked in broad daylight in his garage, the truth is that carjackers and armed robbers aren’t waiting for the sun to go down before they hit the streets. The website CWB Chicago says police are investigating several carjacking crews that have no qualms about committing their crimes while the sun is still shining.

Perhaps the most unusual of CPD’s warnings involves a pattern of two female carjackers who have struck twice since October 26. In one case, the duo walked up to a woman who was near her car and took her vehicle at gunpoint. In the second case, the women beat a female victim and demanded her keys as she stood near her car, but the hijacking failed, according to police.

Detectives said the women struck on the 1800 block of West Superior at 4:20 p.m. on October 26 and on the 2100 block of West Huron at 4:02 p.m. on November 3.

… A Bucktown father who was carjacked while loading his child into the family car on Halloween morning is one of three victims who’ve been targeted by a two-person hijacking crew, according to another CPD alert.

In these crimes, one offender approaches a victim who is near their vehicle, then displays a gun and takes control of the car. An accomplice waits in another car nearby.

Police said one offender is a Black male between 20- and 25-years-old who stands 5’5” tall and weighs about 140 pounds. The other’s race and sex were not released, but police said they are 25- to 30-years-old, 5’7” to 5’9” tall, and 150 pounds.

The duo carjacked victims on the 1900 block of West Wabansia at 9:32 a.m. on October 27; the 2900 block of West Wabansia at 9:50 a.m. on October 27; and the 1900 block of North Honore at 8:45 a.m. on October 31.

Another lone carjacker appears to be targeting people on their morning commute. Last Tuesday there were four carjackings reported between 7 and 8 a.m. with victims all describing the same subject.

So far police haven’t made arrests in any of these carjacking sprees, and these are just a few of the crews that are wreaking havoc across Chicago. There are many others out there looking to prey upon unsuspecting and unarmed victims, and I hope that, if nothing else, the experience of the retired firefighter will spur other citizens to start the lengthy and cumbersome process of exercising their Second Amendment right to self-defense in the Windy City. It might take months before the Illinois State Police finally approves their FOID and concealed carry applications, but I have a feeling that the city’s violent crime isn’t going to subside anytime soon.