According to police in Chicago, there’ve been at least 76 armed robberies in the city’s north and west sides over the past two weeks, with authorities describing teams operating with three to four individuals combing the city streets looking for their next victim. Early Saturday morning one crew stumbled across a lone man and must have thought they’d found easy target… not realizing they’d actually picked an an armed citizen who had both the motive and the means to fight back.
A 31-year-old man was walking toward his parked vehicle in the Loop’s 0-100 block of West Randolph Street at about 3:37 a.m., police said. A red SUV passed him, and someone fired shots in his direction.
The victim, who holds a FOID card and concealed carry license, took out his gun and fired several rounds, police said. The SUV then fled the scene. The victim, who was not injured, saw someone get out of his parked vehicle and run away.
Investigators said minutes after the shooting, the same red SUV involved in the shootout pulled up to the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital with a man in his 20s seeking treatment for a gunshot wound to his left knee.
About the same time, another man in his 20s walked into Lurie Children’s Hospital with a gunshot wound to the lower back.
Both were subsequently taken into custody.
Police said they are seeking a third offender, whose age is unknown.
“You see all the smash and grabs that happened in broad daylight, so you can be a victim any time of the day,” said Denise Arnold.
“When we first moved, there was nothing like for almost a month, then it got on and off. It got really bad,” said Laurel Protexter, who has lived in neighborhood almost three years. “You never know what’s going to happen. It’s very unfortunate.”
It’s the second time in about a week that an alert armed citizen was able to defend themselves against an attack in Chicago. On December 5th a man sitting in his truck smoking a cigarette and getting ready to start his work day when a car pulled up alongside him just before 6 a.m.
Jeremiah Brown and a 15-year-old boy got out of the sedan, while two 16-year-old boys remained in the car, Assistant State’s Attorney LeRoy Martin III said.
Brown pulled out a 45-caliber handgun with an extended ammunition magazine and pointed it at the man’s head while asking for his property, Martin continued.
But the concealed carry holder had another idea. He “immediately” tried to take Brown’s gun by grabbing the extended magazine and then fought with Brown for control of the weapon, Martin said. When Brown asked the 15-year-old for help, the concealed carry holder removed his own firearm from its holster and fired three rounds.
Brown and the 15-year-old were each shot in their shoulders. A 16-year-old in the getaway car’s driver’s seat was shot in the temple and is critically wounded.
Martin said Brown let go of the gun after getting shot. He and the 16-year-old fled the scene, flagged down a Chicago police unit nearby, and tried to convince the officers that they had been shot by someone who was trying to rob them, said Martin.
Meanwhile, the getaway car with the badly injured driver sped away from the scene and crashed into a fence, breaking the 16-year-old passenger’s leg.
The 56-year old concealed carry holder was uninjured, unlike the majority of the guys who tried to rob him at gunpoint.
Chicago’s elected leaders are failing in their mission to make the city a safe place to live, so it shouldn’t be a shock that more residents are choosing to take responsibility for their own personal safety, even though the state of Illinois doesn’t make it easy to exercise your Second Amendment rights, and it’s even harder in Chicago where there are no gun stores or ranges located inside the city limits. Still, tens of thousands of Chicago residents have undertaken the cumbersome process of obtaining a FOID card and their concealed carry license, and with incidents like these making local headlines (and Illinois Democrats looking to crack down even further on the right to keep and bear arms in the new year) I suspect that those numbers are going to continue to grow.