Compiled By William Miller

Holiday Mayhem

A masked man entered a store on Halloween last year in southwest Chicago, but this was no trick-or-treat gag. The man, brandishing what appeared to be a handgun, told two employees that he was robbing the store, which also serves as a currency exchange. But a customer fatally shot the robber, said Officer Bari Lemmon, a police spokeswoman.

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The Cook County medical examiner’s office reported that the suspect, a resident of the neighborhood, died of multiple gunshot wounds. Lemmon said the man had an extensive criminal history, including other arrests for robbery.

She noted, however, that his weapon turned out to be a paintball gun. The armed customer had a concealed-carry license and the required Firearm Owner Identification card from the state of Illinois, Lemmon said.

Off-Duty Shootout

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Although Houston Police Officer C. Curry was off duty on the city’s south side, he quickly swung into action against two robbers, one with a handgun. According to an HPD news release, Curry, dressed in plain clothes, was parked when the attackers pounced. The gunman “demanded everything in Officer Curry’s truck and threatened to kill him,” the release stated. The gunman then tried to shoot Curry, but the gun malfunctioned.

“Fearing for his life, Officer Curry quickly exited his vehicle and drew his duty weapon,” the release stated. “Both men exchanged gunfire.”

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Curry wasn’t hit, but the suspected gunman, Joshua Jones, “sustained multiple gunshot wounds.” Jones and alleged accomplice Frederick Hawthorne fled. Investigators caught up with Jones in the hospital, and also arrested Hawthorne. Both faced charges of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

This was the second time in as many months that a Houston cop had to fight off armed robbers. In October, Sergeant J. Yencha was off-duty but still in uniform when four teenagers tried to rob him. Yencha wasn’t hurt, but he wounded a 15-year-old suspect who, along with the other teens, faced various charges.

Parking Lot Ambush

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Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said a man with a crowbar threatened another man who was leaving a Burger King restaurant with his meal. That customer, however, was also packing a handgun and a license to use it.

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The would-be victim told officers that he had just left the restaurant when he noticed two people in a nearby car. According to the police department’s press release, “the suspect exited the car after the driver said something to him. The passenger had a crowbar in his hand. The victim fired one shot, hitting the suspect in the right arm. The suspect fled in the car that almost left him.”

Police caught up with the suspect at a local hospital, where he told officers he was simply strolling near the restaurant when he was shot. A follow-up investigation continued, where police said they learned the suspect was a “31-year-old career criminal.”


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