Store clerk fends off armed robber

July 29, 2010 1:18:05 PM PDT
An attempted robbery included a life-and-death struggle for a gun in a cell phone store on the city's South Side.Chicago police are using surveillance video to track down a man who shot a cell phone store employee.

A saleswoman leaped over the counter as she was hit by gunfire at the Cricket store on South King Drive.

On Tuesday evening, a man walked in, pulled out a gun on store manager Mostafa Mohammad and demanded cash.

The gunman then yelled at a customer who was with her child to put down her cell phone, and Mohammed seized the opportunity to grab the gun from the offender and wrestled him to the ground.

"I was thinking that was my only chance. It was just a split-second decision. I didn't have a chance to think about it. Really that was it, either I do something or I don't, and I just let my instincts take over," said Mohammad.

The store manager eventually got the gun away from the thief. He then let the suspect go, telling him to never come back.

"I understand. I come from a low-income neighborhood. I came from poverty myself, and I care about this community. And I want it to improve. That's why I like this job. You are giving communication to the people," said Mohammad. "I didn't want him to get hurt. I didn't want to get hurt. I don't want nobody to get hurt."

The injured salesperson, who asked not to be identified, was not seriously hurt. She is listed in good condition at a nearby hospital. She says for some South Side retailers, confronting violence is part of the job.

"I was an open target. That bullet could have hit me anywhere it wanted. Luckily, it went through my arm and out," she said.

Mohammad said in the end he let the offender go because he was afraid he would kill him given the adrenaline racing through him. His regional manager said Mohammad's store was the only of Cricket's 14 Chicago-area outlets that has not been robbed in the last two years.


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