A 69-year-old Chicago man with a concealed carry firearm defended himself against a group of teenagers who attempted to rob him in the city’s Beverly community Tuesday night, police said.
Rather than complying the with teenagers’ demands, the elderly man drew his legally-carried pistol and fired at the three teens, striking one in the knee around 10:35 p.m. in the 10600 block of South Leavitt Street, police said in a statement, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Karie James, a police spokeswoman, said two of the three suspects, who were 15 and 16 years old, have been charged. The individual who was shot in the knee has not been charged and the spokeswoman did not reveal his age.
After the concealed carry permit holder opened fire, the boys fled the scene in a gray Ford Fusion, authorities said. The group drove as far as the Gresham neighborhood before crashing in the 8700 block of South Vincennes Avenue. The teenagers continued fleeing on foot, but were caught and arrested by Chicago police officers.
Authorities later discovered that the Ford Fusion used by the group in their escape was reported stolen Sunday night.
All three suspects were transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
Chicago recorded a staggering 769 homicides last year, a 55 percent increase from 2019, police data showed.
The jump in killings puts last year among the highest in Chicago’s history, reversing a three-year trend, the Associated Press reported. The city also logged 3,261 shootings in 2020, a significant spike from 2,140 shootings in 2019.
Deadly shootings jumped by 53 percent, with December alone totaling 50, more than twice the number during the same month a year earlier.
ABC 7 reported that 78 percent of Chicago’s gun violence victims were black, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The House of Representatives passed two gun-control bills – H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 – on Thursday, which would criminalize private firearms sales and extend FBI holds to 30 days if passed by the Senate and signed into law.
Both the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation say the legislation will make it more difficult for law-abiding gun owners to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
“[H.R. 1446] increases the burden on small business firearm retailer owners and flips the burden of proof on its head. This would make it incumbent upon the law-abiding citizen to prove his or her innocence to the government to exercise their Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm instead of the government being responsible for proving an individual is prohibited,” NSSF Senior Vice President Lawrence Keane said. “This could potentially deny a law-abiding citizen their rights for up to a month, while they are saddled with the burden of proving their innocence. That’s un-American.”