The Illinois baker had no idea that the robber was in possession of a toy gun. It was apparently a large gun, according to the police chief, but it was only a replica.
A bakery owner in Calumet city, south of Chicago, shot and wounded a robber on Tuesday after he and his employee were forced to the back of the shop.
The owner of Cal City Bakery, which opened for business in February, said he bought the weapon for protection but never thought he’d have to use it.
“I just defended myself, my employee’s life,” the owner, who asked to not be named for safety concerns, told NBC Chicago. “I don’t feel good about it. It’s just the way it happened.”
He said a pair of men came into the shop at about 3:30 p.m., took a couple of hundred dollars out of the safe, and then tried to force him and another employee to the back of the bakery. That’s when the shop owner fired the weapon, striking one of the robbers.
“They had the money already, why would they ask us to go to the back,” the owner said. “It just didn’t feel right, everything happened so fast.”
The other robber escaped, he said.
Calumet City Police Chief Edward L. Gilmore said the shop owner is a legal gun owner and was acting well within in his rights. Gilmore said it should serve as a warning to other would-be criminals.
“I think a message should be sent to all would-be criminals out there that business owners have a right to protect themselves,” Gilmore said.
The wounded robbery suspect was shot seven times but was expected to survive his injuries. He was being held under police guard at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
A lot of people have commented, wondering how the suspect could still be alive after having been shot seven times. They blame the shop owner for being a poor shot. But like the owner had said, everything happened so fast. He did the best he could in the time he had.
And I think it is admirable that he waited for the situation to truly warrant shooting the criminal. He waited until he and his employee were being forced to the back of the bakery, after the robber had already gotten the cash from the safe. What else did the robber have planned after he had scored the money? Maybe he was going to tie them up to buy him some time so that he could get away before the police were called. In the owner’s mind, maybe the robber was planning on killing them both. Yes, it turned out it was only a toy gun, but the owner wouldn’t have known that. No one really knows what would have happened, but that’s where you don’t take any chances. At that point, the owner believed that his and his employee’s lives were truly at risk, and he opened fire. If he had been able to kill the guy, it would have been perfectly justified.