A 7-Eleven employee opened fire on a trio of armed robbers, sending one to the hospital and the other two scurrying from the scene near Chicago earlier this week.
The Chicago Tribune says it all began when three men wearing masks, bandannas or shirts over their faces entered the 7-Eleven in Oak Park at around 11:30 p.m. on Monday night. One of the suspects allegedly produced a gun and started demanding cash from the clerk working behind the counter. The clerk responded by pulling out a gun of his own and opening fire, shooting the armed bad guy.
Police arrived at the 7-Eleven to find the suspect, a 17-year-old male, on the floor bleeding from the abdomen. He was taken to Loyola Medical Center in nearby Maywood, where he is listed in critical condition.
The other two suspects are still on the run. WLS-TV describes them as African American males between the ages of 17 and 19. One is 5 ft. 6 in. to 5 ft. 8 in. tall and 140 to 150 lbs. He was wearing a black jacket with white stripes on the sleeve, blue jeans and red shoes. The second suspect is believed to be between 5 ft. 9 in. to 5 ft. 11 in. tall and 140 to 150 lbs. He wore a black jacket, black shirt over his face and black shoes with a white Nike logo.
The 7-Eleven employee who opened fire had a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card and has not been charged. There were two other employees present at the time of the shooting, both of whom were uninjured.
Police said the same 7-Eleven had been robbed just last week. On Dec. 8, a man walked into the store, pulled out a handgun and told workers there to put money into a plastic bag. The workers complied, and the robber made off with $147 from the register. It’s unknown if the two incidents are related.
The manager at this particular 7-Eleven said the store had been robbed at least five times in the past year.
“I’ve been here for about 10 years and the last couple years … you can tell that there’s more crime around this area,” said Vince Wheeler, who frequents the 7-Eleven.
In addition, the Oak Park has recently been hit with a series of carjackings, leading to an increasing number of police patrols in the area.
“I love Oak Park. I think overall it’s a very solid, safe place to live. But I do think that people have to be on their toes and be street smart,” another customer, Julie Gerut, said.
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