A 29-year-old cell phone store employee in Chicago shot and killed a would-be robber on Saturday, according to police and local media. Investigators say the employee has a valid concealed carry license and firearms owner identification card (FOID), though the case is open and charges may still be filed.
Details are forthcoming, but police say the incident began at 6:50 p.m. when the suspect entered the store with a gun and demanded store products. That’s when the store employee pulled out his own firearm and fired several shots at the robber, striking him in the chest.
The suspect was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Investigators recovered both his gun and the gun of the employee.
Police have not released the names of the suspect or the employee.
Local residents say attempted robberies have been on the rise in the last few months. Carl Smith lives near the T-Mobile store where the incident took place, and he told Fox 32 that he’s heard several strings of gun shots recently.
“They’ve attempted to rob a Duncan Donuts. They’ve attempted to rob a couple stores in the mall,” he said. “Desperate times call for desperate measures, and people will try anything sometimes. It’s sad. This is not an everyday thing, but every now and then it does happen.”
While burglaries and robberies in the Windy City are actually down compared to last year, Chicago’s homicide rate has skyrocketed. More than 700 homicides and 3,000 shootings have been recorded in Chicago as of December 1, a greater than 50 percent increase over last year.
The increase in homicides in Chicago and in cities around the state has driven thousands of Illinois residents to apply for concealed carry permits—and many are still waiting. State GOP lawmakers have criticized the Illinois State Police for making residents wait weeks to receive their CCL and FOID cards.
“There is no way around it. These people are experiencing lengthy and unreasonable delays, which is an infringement on their constitutional rights,” said Rep. Avery Bourne.
Illinois State Police estimate that current average processing time for new FOID applications is 121 days. For new CCL applications, the average processing time is 145 days, according to local media.
Illinois is a shall-issue state, which means law enforcement has little discretion on whether an applicant who has completed all the requirements and passed a background check can receive a permit. But unlike other shall-issue states, law enforcement has the right to object to a concealed carry license being issued if they think the applicant is a danger to public safety or himself/herself.
ISP reported it received 147,862 FOID card applications from March through June, more than double the amount received in the prior four-month period. Since 2017, the agency reported a 167 percent increase in FOID card applications (166,649 in 2017 to 445,945 as of November 2020).
There are 27,248 pending applications for CCLs.