Armed robbers tried holding up 3 people on Easter. They shot 2 of them — including a security guard who returned fire — and never managed to steal anything.

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas, Chicago Tribune
·4 min read

Early Easter morning, a security guard saw at least two armed robbers running after appearing to stick up someone, police said. Moments later, he was a victim of the same would-be thieves.

But the robbers didn’t just demand the security guard’s money and belongings. After a confrontation, they shot the 22-year-old guard twice, leaving him in critical condition, according to police. And although the guard drew his own weapon and shot at the thieves, he apparently missed.

Eight minutes later, Chicago police would be called to a third armed robbery nearby. There was another attempted robbery — and another person shot. By the end of their crime spree, authorities said the thieves had committed three brazen daytime attacks Sunday morning, wounding two men and making off with no stolen property.

“The report indicates that (the) security guard witnessed the offenders fleeing, which is when they passed by him and attempted to rob him,” police spokeswoman Sally Bown wrote in an email. “The security guard stated these were the same offenders who shot him.”

The crime spree began just before 6:20 a.m. in the 100 block of South Western Avenue in West Town, according to an online statement from Chicago police. The 22-year-old man who was on his way to his job as a security guard said a couple of people “approached him and attempted to rob him.” He had already seen the people trying to rob someone else and in a matter of moments, they were demanding his belongings too.

Few details were available about how the situation escalated but police said the guard did not turn over his belongings and at least one of the gunmen shot the security guard, hitting him in the right thigh and the right leg. He drew his own weapon and shot back but it seems he must have missed, police said.

“The security guard only relayed that, as he was walking, he witnessed a victim being held up by gunpoint. No other details are provided. There is no information as to whether or not the security guard hit anyone when he returned fire,” Bown said.

Bown said it wasn’t clear from the report whether the security guard had a valid firearm owner’s identification or concealed carry license.

The security guard was taken to a hospital in critical condition. At some point, he was able to share details of the attack with investigators and that’s when he said that “moments before” he was confronted, he’d witnessed another person being robbed by the same people.

The victim in that earlier robbery did not report the crime so few details are known, officials said. They did not believe the gunmen made off with any of that person’s property either, but that person wasn’t shot as the next two victims were.

“There are no details provided in the incident report about the armed robbery that happened nearby,” Bown said. “We have no information on this earlier robbery aside from what the security guard reported.”

Just before 6:30 a.m. in another West Side neighborhood, West Garfield Park, the armed robbery crew struck again, police said.

Officers were called to the 300 block of South Karlov Avenue, where they found a 43-year-old man who had been shot and “was the victim of an attempted robbery and shooting,” according to the police statement.

The man had been walking with a friend away from the Blue Line when they were approached by two unknown men in a vehicle. Police did not say whether the earlier shooters were men or women, but they believed the suspects in all three cases were the same.

Police said the 43-year-old and his friend, when confronted by the robbers, took off running in opposite directions. The gunmen gave chase and eventually shot the 43-year-old in the leg. He was taken to a hospital where his condition was stabilized, police said.

“Concerning the shooting which took place on South Karlov, there is no indication in the report that any personal items were taken from the victim who was shot,” Bown said.

Authorities did not have a description of the thieves and no arrests had been made.

kdouglas@chicagotribune.com

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