Jewelry Store Robber Shot by Employee, Released Without Charges by Police

AP Photo/Teresa Crawford

A Saturday morning robbery didn't go as planned for a suspected crook in Chicago, but even though the man was shot by his intended victim he's still managed to catch a lucky break, at least for the moment. 


The robbery happened around 11 a.m. at a jewelry store in downtown Chicago, with the suspect trying to pull a smash and grab before an employee intervened. 

The offender entered a business at that location and unsuccessfully attempted to take property, police said. Another person with a FOID card and a Concealed-Carry License drew their firearm and shot the offender.

The attempted robbery suspect fled the scene, but was located by police nearby and arrested. They were taken to a hospital where they were initially reported to be stable with a gunshot wound, police said.

According to CWB Chicago, the suspect was taken into custody after he was released from the hospital, but the armed citizen was also detained by authorities while they investigated the crime, spending more than 24 hours in custody before he was released on Sunday afternoon. 

Surveillance video of the incident in the first block of North Wabash surfaced on Twitter Sunday morning. The footage begins with the thief walking from the back of the store toward the exit around 10:55 a.m.

Just a step from the front door, he swings his right hand into the front of a jewelry display case several times. While he’s trying to smash through the glass, a man behind the counter draws a pistol, racks the slide, and fires as the thief appears to be turning toward the door.

Video from an exterior camera shows the thief fall out the door, then return to pick up something he dropped in the doorway. Suffering from gunshot wounds in his buttocks and abdomen, the 27-year-old bolts up the stairs to a nearby “L” platform.


You can check out the video for yourself below. 

According to CWB Chicago's sources, prosecutors contend that the robber wasn't visibly displaying a weapon or directly threatening the employees of the store and say he was possibly trying to run away from the shop when he was shot in the buttocks and abdomen. 

While both men have been released from police custody without charges, the Cook County State's Attorney's office could still end up prosecuting the would-be robber as well as the concealed carry holder who shot him, though CWB Chicago's sources indicate it is possible that neither men will face formal charges going forward. 

Under Illinois law, deadly force can be justified to prevent the commission of a forcible felony, and both burglary and robbery are among those crimes that meet the statutory definition, so it appears, at least at first glance, that the armed citizen who fired at the robber would have been justified in doing so... at least if prosecutors determine that he was, in fact, trying to rob the joint and not engaged in an act of retail theft. 


If someone is stupid enough to try to smash through a glass display case in a store full of employees, I'd say it's reasonable to believe they were capable of injuring or killing those employees as they tried to make their getaway, even if the suspect didn't display a weapon inside the store. There have been other retail employees who've been murdered by robbers in the city in recent days, after all, and that may very well have been on the mind of the armed citizen when he drew his pistol and fired at the robber who showed up at his store on Saturday morning. 

Given that this is Cook County, I wouldn't be surprised to see prosecutors go after the armed citizen while giving the would-be robber a break, but I still think it would be a herculean task to convince twelve jurors to convict the armed citizen. We'll keep our eyes peeled for any updates, because the concealed carry holder may not be in the clear even if he's not currently being charged with a crime. 

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