The Armed Citizen® | Chicago

posted on May 26, 2016

Chicago has been much in the news lately because of the greatly increased number of shootings and murders in the city so far this year. Despite severely restrictive gun laws that hamper law-abiding citizens, however, armed self-defense isn’t unheard of in the Windy City. Here are 10 times when Chicago residents used guns to protect themselves and others over the past several years.

A man armed with a gun entered a cell phone store on Chicago’s South Side and attempted to rob the establishment. The clerk on duty responded to the threat by retrieving a gun and shooting the criminal, killing him. Police have identified the deceased robber as a convict who was paroled earlier in the year. The criminal had been serving time for armed robbery with a firearm. (The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., 12/11/2013)

A homeowner in Chicago Heights, Ill., was in his bathroom when he heard the sound of breaking glass coming from his kitchen. After retrieving a gun, the homeowner went to investigate and discovered an intruder inside his home. The homeowner fired at the criminal, striking him and causing him to flee out a window. The home invader collapsed and died in the back yard of the home and was found by police a short time later. No charges have been filed against the homeowner. (The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago, Ill., 9/28/2011) 

After hearing the sound of glass breaking in the basement of her southeast Chicago home, a resident retrieved a handgun and went to investigate. She discovered two intruders, one of whom was armed with a tire iron. The resident fired at the criminals, killing one and causing the other to flee. After an investigation, authorities determined that the woman will not face charges. When speaking to the local media, the woman noted that break-ins have become commonplace in her neighborhood. The resident was wise to provide for her own security, as her efforts to get local politicians to address the matter proved useless. (The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., 2/21/2011) 

Around 1 p.m, three armed robbers entered Fullerton Pawners Inc. on the West Side of Chicago and attempted to rob the store. The store owner retrieved a gun and fired at the criminals, killing one and causing the others to flee. The deceased robber was identified as Michael McMillan, a convicted armed robber who had been sentenced to a Cook County “boot camp” program. Neighboring shops told local media that armed robberies are a frequent occurrence in the West Side neighborhood. Reports from police suggest that the store owner may have used a handgun to defend his store. If so, this would be the third case in just over two weeks involving an armed citizen in Chicago using a handgun in self-defense. Chicago denies its citizens the right to own handguns not registered with the city before April 1982. (The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., 6/8/2010; WLS, Chicago, Ill., 6/9/2010) 

Just after midnight, gang member and convicted felon Aaron Marshall was pulled over by police in the South Austin section of Chicago. Marshall left his car and fled from the police, dropping drugs as he ran. In his attempt to escape, Marshall broke into a house through the front window. One of the residents heard the break-in, retrieved a revolver and shot the home invader. An investigation revealed that the resident has a valid Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. Police have not charged the homeowner. (WGN, Chicago, Ill., 6/03/2010) 

Armed home invader Anthony Perkins snuck into the basement of a house owned by an 80-year-old Korean War veteran in Chicago, Ill., who was at home asleep with his wife and great-grandson. When Perkins found the basement door to be locked, he moved to the homeowner’s bedroom window, drew his handgun and fired a shot to break the glass. The homeowner awoke to the gunfire, retrieved a pistol and fired at Perkins, killing him. After an initial investigation, it was found that Perkins was on parole for a drug conviction and had a criminal record involving drug and weapons offences stretching back to 1998. Neighbors supported the homeowner’s actions; with 75-year-old neighbor Audrey Williams stating, “They did the right thing. If anyone tried to come in on me, I’d do the same thing.” The homeowner purchased the handgun after being robbed six months ago, but could face charges since Chicago denies its citizens the right to own handguns. With the court battle over the Chicago handgun ban set to be decided by the Supreme Court this summer, the son of the homeowner has already rendered his opinion, “How are we going to protect our homes without guns? ... That gun law should be abolished.” (The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., 5/26/2010) 

Police say a 16-year-old gang member wearing a ski mask and toting a .22 rifle knocked on a front door north of Chicago one night. Inside, Saffiyya Darr and her husband called out to ask who it was, but got no reply. Several minutes later they heard a loud sound coming from their back door, and Darr ran to her bedroom to get a 9 mm pistol. When the suspect forced his way inside, she shot him twice. He died at the scene. “If you are sitting at home at night and someone kicks the door open, you have the right to defend yourself,” said Police Chief Douglas Malcolm. (Lake County News-Sun, Waukegan, Ill., 12/4/2006) 

A 76-year-old Chicago man was making his usual stop at the local gas station when things went very wrong. Charles Smith, a 27-year Army veteran, was getting back into his car when he felt a gun at the back of his head. “Start the car and get out or I will kill you,” was all the teenager, later identified as Blannie Hanes, said. Smith complied, but then confronted the teen from the passenger window, showing his .380-cal. pistol. When Hanes extended his gun, Smith fired, fatally striking the carjacker in the chest. (Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago, Ill., 4/24/2003) 

A West Side Chicago resident shot and killed an intruder in his home when the man stormed into his bedroom and demanded to see a part of his wife’s anatomy. Curtis Reed kicked open the basement door of the apartment building and ran up the back stairs directly into the couple’s bedroom. “He said to the woman, ‘Show me your ... ,’ and at that point, the husband fired,” said Area 4 Violent Crimes Detective Mike Miller. Reed did not appear to have stolen anything from the home, Miller reported. (Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago, Ill., 11/23/2001) 

Store owner Anselmo Nieves shot and killed an armed robber who had turned his gun toward a customer. Tyrone Ingram, 32, walked into the Cidras Super Market, pointed a gun at a female cashier and announced a stickup. Nieves handed over the cash drawer and some cigarettes, police said. Ingram then allegedly hit Nieves over the head, knocking him to the floor. When a female customer entered the store, Ingram, who had a criminal record for armed robbery, allegedly pointed his gun at the woman. Nieves responded by grabbing his shotgun and firing at the robber killing him instantly, said Police News Affairs Officer Edward Alonzo. No charges will be filed against Nieves, who had narrowly escaped death a year earlier when a robber held a gun to his head and fired just as Nieves moved nicking his ear. (The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., 4/13/2001)


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