Just yesterday, I wrote about a customer with a concealed carry permit who walked in a Chicago neighborhood store in the middle of an armed robbery. When the customer saw the masked suspect ordering an employee to the back of the store at gunpoint, he pulled out his own gun and shot the man multiple times, killing him. No one else was hurt.
Now, the suspect’s family is calling for the armed customer to be prosecuted for shooting and killing their family member. According to the armed robber’s stepson, there must be more to the story, because as far as he knew, his stepfather didn’t even own a gun, and he used to work at this store he allegedly “robbed.” He knew the owner well. Perhaps this was a Halloween prank that got interrupted by an overzealous concealed carrier wanting his fifteen minutes of fame. After all, the gun the robber used turned out to be a fake.
I halfway joked in my previous article that if Obama were recounted this incident, he’d likely side with the suspect. I wasn’t far off.
A Washington Post article by Michael Miller pretty much begged the reader to sympathize with the suspect and all but condemned the customer for killing the suspect, identified as Reginald Gildersleeve. Miller wrote:
Gildersleeve, 55, was a tall and powerfully built man with a strong jaw and a beaming smile. His Facebook page shows him in a suit and tie proudly posing with his wife in one arm and a Bible in the other. He often posted photos of his family, including a grandson.
All the photos Miller used in his article of Gildersleeve were with him and his family smiling and/or flexing his muscles. And Miller also said that Gildersleeve was starting to “turn his life around.”
He had a lengthy criminal record peppered with narcotics charges and burglaries, dating back to the 80’s and as recent as 2005. But the suspect’s family is convinced that something is missing from the story. Gildersleeve wouldn’t have committed this crime, and the customer certainly had no right to shoot him multiple times. According to the Washington Post:
…[T]he Chicago shooting is also raising questions, primarily from the family of the robbery suspect, Reginald Gildersleeve.
“Something doesn’t seem right,” said Igbinosa Oronsaye, whose mother married Gildersleeve three years ago. “He didn’t deserve to get shot multiple times.”
The incident is all the more mysterious because it occurred on Halloween and involved a man in a mask with a fake gun. Various law enforcement individuals told the Tribune that the gun was either a toy or a paintball gun.
Oronsaye told ABC7 that Gildersleeve was a former employee of the store and knew the owner well.
Was the shooting a Halloween prank gone horribly wrong?
If this was a prank, it was the dumbest prank ever.
I don’t think for a second that this was a Halloween prank, and I don’t think anybody actually believes that. This guy had a record. It doesn’t matter how “beaming” his smile was or that he was starting to “turn his life around.” Anybody is capable of committing a crime. This guy relapsed at the wrong time.