Thursday, August 14, 2008

Illinois: Four Shot in Jewelry Store Shootout

Chicago, Illinois

From the WBBM of August 14, 2008
Four Shot in Jewelry Store Shootout

Robbers invaded a Southwest Side jewelry store on Wednesday, triggering a gun fight. Four people, including the alleged robbers, were injured in the shootout.

It was a wild scene near the corner of 63rd Street and Kedzie Avenue Wednesday evening when a pair of robbers pretending to be customers walked into Sergio V. Jewelry. But the robbers picked on the wrong guy.

The store owner, Sergio Vasquez, is known around the neighborhood to be a man who doesn't put up with any nonsense at his shop. He was behind the counter when the robbers walked in.

Chicago Police Sgt. Lawrence Gade said "Two suspects entered the store, possibly for a robbery. It went bad. Victims and/or suspects were shot in the process."

Investigators said the robbers walked in with a briefcase and when they pulled their guns, Vasquez grabbed his and all three opened fire. Both robbers were hit and so was a jeweler in the back of the store. At least one shot also struck a motorist who was passing by outside.

That driver was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the face.

Police from the Chicago Lawn District arrived within minutes. Vasquez's son was at the scene too.

Manuel Vasquez said, "You get buzzed in, you get attended, you know, unfortunately I guess these guys were on a mission to do one thing only and do what they got to do and take what they got to take and run out, but I'm glad the cops got them."

Police found one robber lying on the street around the corner, bleeding from a gunshot wound, the other was arrested at the store.

None of the people shot appeared to have life-threatening injuries. All are hospitalized.

A suspect in his 40s is in John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in "critical" condition, police News Affairs Officer JoAnn Taylor said. The other suspect was shot in the leg and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in “stable” condition.

One of the victims, in his 30s, was shot in the leg as well, Taylor said. He also is in John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital in “stable” condition. The second victim, in his 40s, was shot in the face and at Mount Sinai Hospital in “stable” condition.

Whether the pther two victims were customers or employees in the store has not yet been revealed.

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