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Criminals typically have no regard for the law or others, otherwise they wouldn’t be criminals. Case in point is video of an East St. Louis shootout in a gas station parking lot.

Around 1 a.m. on Sept. 12 at a Gas Mart in Illinois, two men decided to take shots at one another for no known reason, according to KMOV4.

Surveillance cameras caught the entire incident on video, from multiple angles. In fact, the video shows customers, both inside and outside the store, diving for cover and running away. Additionally, the video reveals how quickly situations can escalate.

Detective Ronald McClellan, with the East St. Louis Police, told Fox2Now that the two men knew each other, and both are known to police. In fact, the pair are felons with long criminal backgrounds.

“It could have been anyone,” McClellan said. “Thank God no one was injured or killed.”

While police have identified the suspects in the St. Louis shootout, no arrests have been made. Police are looking for the suspects and expect charges once they are found. Remarkably, no one was injured or killed in the shootout, despite numerous bullets flying into the store toward customers.

East St. Louis Shootout Critique

It is very easy to discuss the problems of gun handling in regard to criminals. Of course, their lack of skills is probably a good thing, except when innocent bystanders are stuck by errant rounds. It does seem, however, that at some point criminals would learn to use sights to aim a gun.

Either way, bystander reaction ran the gamut from total terror to barely concerned. The interior video shows one man tackling another to get him lower to the ground, while exterior footage shows another walking away in a crouch before turning to watch the show. Others took off running as the shots rang out, but there still seems to be an acceptance of the situation, even though bullets were breaking glass throughout the store and flying to who knows where in the other direction.

The proper reaction should have been to seek cover immediately, before calling the police. And those who would want to step into the situation need to remember that in most cases it is best to let police handle the situation. No good could have come from a third handgun throwing bullets into the mix, even after the shootout was over and one of the suspects was standing around like he didn’t care.

The whole scenario is even worse since Illinois has some of the strongest guns in the country.

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