A pair of suspected carjackers got more than they bargained for on Sunday when the target of their violent encounter pulled a gun of his own, sending both assailants running and one to a local hospital.
Chicago police say a 24-year-old who is licensed to own and carry a firearm was inside the vehicle when the two men approached. One of them reportedly displayed a firearm and fired at least one shot at the armed citizen, who drew his own pistol and fired back at the armed suspect.
Anton Cheeks, 21, and Travell Quadir Deal, 18, were accused of trying to take a vehicle at gunpoint from a 24-year-old man around 7 p.m. in the 7600 block of South Cicero Avenue, according to police.
The victim, who was a FOID and concealed carry license holder, pulled out a gun and shot Cheeks during the attempted carjacking, police said.
Cheeks was taken to Holy Cross Hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound to the thigh. Afterward, he was taken into custody.
Deal was arrested just a few blocks away from where the attempted carjacking took place, and like Cheeks is now facing charges of attempted vehicular hijacking with a weapon.
While these two alleged offenders have been taken off the streets for at least a day or two, they’re not the only ones preying on unsuspecting citizens. Chicago police report that another group of armed criminals may be responsible for dozens of robberies and carjackings in just the past five weeks.
A spree of armed robberies has several Chicago neighborhoods on high alert. Police say the common thread in these incidents is the targets are food vendors and individuals either coming home or going to work.
The latest incident happened in the 2600 block of West Warren Boulevard. That was one of 13 robberies that happened Saturday morning, all in the span of 2.5 hours.
Police say it’s all part of a larger pattern that started on April 22.
Police say the holdups that happened Saturday morning took place in various neighborhoods including Humboldt Park, Little Village and Hermosa. It all started started at 5:40 a.m. The last one happened just after 8 a.m.
In each case, the armed suspects targeted either food vendors or people who were leaving work or getting ready to go to work. They often jumped out of a stolen vehicle then robbed the victims of their belongings.
Investigators believe that since the pattern began on April 22, as many as 48 robberies are linked to these robbers.
Thanks to the gun control laws in Chicago and the state of Illinois, it’s much easier for someone to illegally arm themselves than it is to obtain a concealed carry license, but there are still tens of thousands of Cook County residents who’ve jumped through the hoops and over the hurdles that the anti-gun politicians have put in their way. That 24-year-old armed citizen is one of them, and he may very well be alive today thanks to his ability to fight back when he was targeted on Sunday night.