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Chicago police investigate store shootout

The owner tells his story about the incident.
August 14, 2008 4:08:23 PM PDT
Chicago police are investigating a shootout at a Southwest Side jewelry store that left four people wounded. Police say it all started when two men tried to hold up Sergio Jewelers in the 3100-block of West 63rd Street. They say the owner, Sergio Vazquez, pulled out his own gun--sparking a shootout with the suspects.

The owner wounded the two suspects. One of those men is now hospitalized in critical condition.

The gunfire also wounded a store employee, 29-year-old Jesus Onofre. Another man was shot while sitting in a car in front of the store.

"I asked him what happened, and he says, "I just got shot. Call 911, call 911.' I said, 'Listen, man, you're bleeding too much, just go to Holy Cross. There's one nearby over here.' And that's what he decided to do anyway," said Edward Pina, witness.

Both of them are in stable condition.

Police recovered three guns at the store. They found some jewerly on the suspects.

Detectives have been interviewing witnesses and reviewing the store's security videotape.

So far, no charges have been filed.

Owner tells his story

Sergio Vazquez was patching up 16 bullet holes inside his jewelry store Thursday afternoon. The owner survived an all-out gunfight with two would-be robbers. Vazquez says one suspect jumped over the jewelry counter Wednesday afternoon. The other followed.

"I saw another guy jump over here. I saw the guy and he said, 'Give me the money or I kill you,'" said Sergio Vazquez.

Facing death and a gun, Sergio Vazquez says he followed the gunman's orders. He says he went to a desk, where he kept the money and something else.

"The same time I have the money, I have the gun in the same place. When I heard the shoot, I take the gun and we shoot together. I shoot this way and he shot me over here," Sergio Vazquez.

Just thinking about the violence disturbs Vazquez' son, he said.

"It's not going to be the same anymore. No, you have to be on alert with everybody," said Manuel Vazquez.

And Vazquez said he plans to keep the store open. After all, he's been doing this for 20 years. And he says he wants the would-be robbers to survive, while his family wants to see them punished.

"I like those guys to be OK because I think everyone needs a second chance," said Sergio Vazquez.

"I hope the judge, state's attorney, see it for what it is and take it to the max, take it from there," Manuel Vazquez.


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