Man shot by police after thieves fled his store testifies

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Testifying Tuesday in his federal lawsuit seeking damages from Chicago police for his shooting, Bassil Abdelal said as he stood up he was shot "right away." (WLS)

A Chicago store owner took the stand Tuesday in his lawsuit against the city. Bassil Abdelal claims police mistook him for a thief at his own business and shot him.

Abdelal said it took him months to recover enough to after shot following an armed robbery at his beauty supply store on the West Side.

It was not the robbers who shot him however, but police who apparently mistook him for the suspects.

When officers arrived the robbers had just fled the store. One of them dropped a gun outside. Abdelal testified in court he picked up the gun in case they came back.

Instead, he said was immediately shot. Attorneys for the officers showed jurors the gun Abdelal was holding. Police maintain the store owner aimed the gun at the officers.

But Ablelal's attorney, Brendan Gallagher, asked: "At any point did you raise the gun and point at someone?"

Abdelal answered: "No. When I stood up I got shot right away and I dropped it."

Abdelal was hit six times in the back, leg, arm and foot.

He went on to testify that he never saw or heard an officer in the area before being shot.

Police admit three officers fired shots at the store owner: Miguel Torres, Rolando Ruiz and Thomas Petrenko. The officers claim the shooting was justified.

Torres testified: "He did come at me with both arms extended and he was pointing his gun at a [tactical] officer."

Torres told the court he yelled a warning to Abdelal: "Police! Drop your weapon!"

But Abdelal says he never heard such a warning or saw or heard any sign of police lights or sirens in the area.

Related Topics:
newschicago police departmentpolice-involved shootinglawsuittrialChicago - Downtown
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