A brazen broad daylight attempt to rob an elderly Chicago man in his own home ended with two suspects facing charges and a long hospital stay for one of them, thanks to the fact that the octogenarian was able to defend himself with a firearm.
The 80-year old did suffer serious injuries of his own in the attack, but based on authorities’ description of the home invasion, he easily could have been killed if he hadn’t fired at his attacker.
“This doesn’t happen here. This is a pretty rare event,” said Boris Stojakovic, who manages a building across the street with his family.
Investigators said it happened at 10:30 a.m. on the 8500 Block of West Catherine in Chicago’s O’Hare neighborhood.
“We’re actively checking that all our doors stay closed, and notifying our residents to make sure not to let anyone in the building they’re not expecting,” Stojakovic said.
Police said the 80-year-old man was inside a home on the block when the suspects, a man and a woman, knocked on the door. After he opened the door, the suspects entered the home without permission and then a fight broke out.
Police say the 80-year-old, a FOID card holder, shot at the suspects, hitting the man in the chest. The woman was not injured.
Both the suspect who was shot and the homeowner were taken to a local hospital in critical condition, with the homeowner suffering serious injuries after being battered by the intruder. Now neighbors say they’re hoping he pulls through, and are praising his decision to defend himself.
Many in the neighborhood were rattled, but relieved that the victim defended himself. One woman who spoke to CBS 2 asked to remain anonymous.
“I am really heartbroken for him and the family, because he was at home alone and he must’ve been really scared when it happened,” she said. “You never know if someone’s going to come to help you in time, so this could’ve ended really badly.”
Kenny Vierneisel, another nearby resident, said, “I’m glad that he protected himself. If someone breaks into my apartment, I’m going to do the same thing. Right?”
Don’t expect similar words of support or praise for the armed citizen from the likes of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who’s fighting for another term in charge of the city and is downplaying the city’s crime problems in her re-election bid.
“Fox & Friends Weekend” host Rachel Campos-Duffy slammed Lightfoot for ignoring skyrocketing crime
“My daughter lived in Chicago for many years. She lost two classmates to crime during the time that she was there,” she said.
Campos-Duffy pointed to the Hispanic population in Chicago as an example, citing reports of tamale vendors being robbed at gunpoint while selling their food.
“These are little old ladies who get up at three in the morning, make tamales to sell to the blue collar workers who work, probably all over the city for all the rich people,” she said. “You know what [Lightfoot’s] answer was? Her answer was they should go cashless. Really? You want to sell tamales with a credit card?”
Maybe Lightfoot’s next recommendation will be telling residents that they should go property-less. If you don’t have anything to steal, you don’t have to worry about your stuff getting stolen, right?
For those Chicago residents who aren’t protected by a phalanx of Chicago cops as the mayor is, crime in the city is a major concern, and incidents like this just drive home the fact that their safety is ultimately their responsibility, not the mayor’s or the Chicago PD. I’m praying for this armed citizen’s recovery, but I also hope that his experience spurs other Chicagoans to think long and hard about their own right to armed self-defense in the future.