An armed man was sent to the hospital by an armed and ready employee of a Chicago Walgreens who responded to that armed individual’s brandishing of a firearm after walking into the store by opening fire rather than cowering behind the register. The incident occurred in the Old Town area of Chicago.
Though the incident was initially suspected to be related to retail theft and crime in the area, as numerous stores in Old Town near this Walgreens were robbed recently, it turns out that the Walgreens employee who shot the armed individual had a pre-existing conflict with him.
That Walgreens employee is named Lamont Morris, 26. Morris was arrested on Sunday at about 1 in the morning after he was identified as the one who shot and seriously injured the armed suspect, a 32-year-old male, about an hour earlier. He was charged with unlawful use of a weapon without a firearm owners identification card, a serious crime in notoriously anti-gun and high-crime Chicago.
According to ABC 7, “By 10 a.m. Sunday, it was back to business as usual at the 24-hour Walgreens. Most customers were unaware of the exchange of gunfire that police said took place between an employee and another man, who came into the store just before midnight. As it turns out, there was a pre-existing conflict between those two men.”
Commenting on the incident and reassuring shoppers in the area that it was not a robbery but part of a pre-existing conflict between the two men. Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins said, “One is an employee of Walgreens, the other, possibly, a former employee. We don’t have that confirmed yet. But, we do know they knew each other.”
Continuing, Hopkins added that a veritable hail of gunfire was exchanged between the two armed men when the late-night fight broke out, saying, “There were numerous shots fired; we think at least 20 rounds were fired within the store itself.”
During that Tombstone-like shootout, 26-year-old Morris suffered a graze wound to the chest and the armed individual who entered the store was injured more seriously. Shot multiple times, he is now undergoing treatment at Chicago’s Northwestern Hospital.
Walgreens, for its part, refused to give a direct comment on the shooting incident. Instead, it said, “The safety of our patients, customers and team members is our top priority. We take this matter seriously and are cooperating with the Chicago Police Department.”
Area residents, on the other hand, had much stronger feelings. Wendy Sharkey, a local. told ABC 7 that it is highly disconcerting that a massive gunfight could break out in a retail store commonly visited by locals, thus putting those shoppers in potential danger. She said, “It’s alarming that it can break out in the middle of a place that you go every day. We could have stopped in after being out for the evening and been caught in the crossfire.“
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