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Former Marine Gives Harrowing Account of 7-Eleven Robbery

Armed robber shoved gun twice in his face while robbing the store. Former Marine and another customer escaped by running out the back of the store.

An ex-Marine in his 40s who was part of Operation Desert Storm thought he was going to die during the armed robbery of a 7-Eleven store last week.

Around 9:50 p.m. Oct. 24, the ex-Marine walked into the 7-Eleven at 9860 S. Kedzie Ave. to buy a gallon of milk.

Accompanying him inside was another man. After exchanging admiring words about the man’s car, the two strangers parted ways inside the store to go about their business.

When the former Marine turned around, he saw a woman with a young child hunched down near the floor. His first impression was that she was reprimanding her child for pulling candy off the bottom shelf.

Then he heard her say: “Please don’t shoot my baby.”

Armed Robber Shoves Gun in Ex-Marine's Face

As he had taken a couple of steps forward, the ex-Marine said he had a gun shoved into his face by a man clad in black and wearing a ski mask.

“I was pissed. I was fuming,” the former Marine said. “I had a gun in my face and thought I was going to die because some gutless turd is robbing a 7-Eleven.”

A commotion at the front of the store drew the robber’s attention back to the cash register.

I stood for second watching and felt I had to something to help the lady and her kid,” he said. “I ducked down and went to the back of the store, looking for a snow brush, a stick, something that I could knock the guy out with, but there was nothing.”

Meanwhile, the stranger with whom he had exchanged pleasantries with on the way into the store was standing humming in front of the pop cooler, oblivious to what was happening at the cash register. The stranger started walking toward the front of the store.

“I grabbed him by the shoulders and said, ‘c’mon, the store is getting robbed. We’re going out the back door,’” the ex-Marine said.

Escape

Both men escaped out the back of the store. Because he had left his cell phone in his car, the former Marine ran to a nearby house for help and began banging on the door. No one answered, so he ran to a second, well-lit house next door.

The robber was coming down 99th Street when he saw the ex-Marine leaving the porch of the second house. The ex-Marine ran to the backyard, when he discovered the stranger from the store hiding there.

“I was telling him not to hide there because the robber was coming when a woman came out of the hosue and asked me what I was doing,” the ex-Marine said. “I was trying to shush her and tell her there was a guy with a gun out front.”

He later learned that the woman had called police because she thought he was a prowler.

The ex-Marine confronted the robber again between the two houses. The alleged robber shoved the gun into his face a second time.

“He asked: ‘what are you going to do,’” the former Marine said. “I told him, ‘you got the gun.’ He just put the gun at his side and started walking toward 99th Street.

“After he walked out of my sight, I looked down 99th Street and he was gone,” the ex-Marine said. “He must have been picked up at that point.”

Robber Announced Holdup

The ex-Marine returned to 7-Eleven to see if the others were all right. By then, Evergreen Park police had arrived.

“I wanted to talk to the police and give the best description I could,” he said.

The suspected robber was wearing a black jacket, jeans and gloves, and had a black covering on his face, the ex-Marine said.

Evergreen Park police said the suspect was wearing a scarf wrapped around his face, although the ex-Marine remembers it as a ski mask.

“Judging from the way he moved, he was a young cat, between 25 and 30,” the ex-Marine said.

A store employee told police that the robber walked into the store and yelled that it was a holdup.

A customer who had taken out his wallet to pay the employee, left it on the counter when he instinctively laid face down on the floor, police said. The wallet was gone when the customer got back up.

The robber got away with $100 cash. The former Marine doesn’t remember a fifth customer being in the store, “because I was in combat focus.”

Suspect Was 'Aggressive'

The ex-Marine also recalls hearing the robber charge the weapon, before pointing the gun at the store employee.

“He was definitely aggressive when he started the robbery,” he said. “When he approached the cashier he charged the weapon and chambered the round. When you pull the slide back, it automatically pulls the trigger back.

“It’s a hair trigger. All it takes is a hiccup,” he said. “When he chambered the gun, I knew it was a dangerous situation. The gun was more dangerous than it was 30 seconds before.”

Not only was the ex-Marine able to provide a physical description of the suspect, he was also able to give a detailed description of the gun.

“The detective said that a lot of time perps will use the same gun over and over again,” the former Marine said. “The description of the weapon was almost as good as a description of criminal.”

Evergreen Park Police don’t know if last week’s robbery is related to another 7-Eleven store robbery that took place in Mt. Greenwood on Sept. 29.

In the September robbery, the suspect is said to have fired the gun as he was leaving the store. Chicago Police declined at that time to give a description of the suspect.

Roy Keane October 31, 2013 at 07:57 AM
I am tired of government keeping innocent people as sitting ducks. SICK of hearing about our local convenience stores being robbed. Gun laws make me sick to my f@@king stomach. Store owners in LA 20 years ago were able to save their stores during the Riots. Why? BECAUSE THEY WERE ALLOWED TO CONCEAL AND CARRY. CONCEAL AND CARRY NOW. Not next year, NOW.
Jake Braekes October 31, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Good thing there is no crime going on in EP. You are always a Marine, never an ex-Marine; this guy proves it.
Joe Kocur October 31, 2013 at 10:46 AM
Roy- great comment. Also I always carry. Rarely without a weapon on me. I'll be damned if a gun toting jag off going to push me around. It's my right to defend myself and will continue to do so.
Full Name October 31, 2013 at 09:13 PM
To the idiots that think gun free zones are safer: this would be another example of why we need conceal carry laws. An ex marine packing heat would've ended that situation quick.
Colleen Boyer October 31, 2013 at 10:14 PM
I agree Full Name!!!
Melanie Drexel November 01, 2013 at 01:39 AM
I am the lady that was in there with my 3 year old son. That robber tripped over my son walking in the door. The first thing I told him was I have a little boy. Please dont shoot my little boy. Then that POS tried to take my cell phone. I told him he's not taking my phone. Hindsight,shouldnt have done that. Then he took the guy ahead of me in line's wallet. Now the thing I'm confused on,it says in this article he only got away with $100. A friend of mine knows the guy who came on shift after it all happened. THAT guy said the employee who was working never made a drop and the robber got away with $900. Something doesnt sound right. Plus,the robber was in there a good 5-7 minutes. If the employee wouldve set off the silent alarm right away,the Evergreen Park police wouldve been there in 2 minutes. Something is shady here. Lastly,the 7-11 at 103rd & Artesian got hit the next night at 6:30 p.m. A close friend of mine works there,but was off when it got robbed. Same description of the guy. Black sheer or material of some sort around his head,only exposing his eyes and grey hoodie. This article said black hoodie,but I preceisley remember a grey hoodie. I said a prayer the entire time. So scary. That marine is a brave man.
alski November 01, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Glad all got out alive. Sad that here's an ex-Marine scrambling to find whatever to defend himself and the others. If this isn't more proof that we need CCW in this state then I don't know what is. Could have popped a CAP in that POS. Done and done. One less POS roaming the streets.
Bob Wadas November 03, 2013 at 01:30 AM
The story told by the Marine is a total lie ! No Marine has a gun to his face then when the gunman turns away to go by the register and the marine goes to the back to look for a stick to knock him out with. The other guy who went out the back with him will verify the "marine's" story was a lie. All witnesses saw this man go down Kedzie not 99th ! No American Marine would do what he did .. Please read the story carefully and you will realize the lies told. I will post whet the man in the back of the store said !
Bob Wadas November 03, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Ok, here's what happened. I get there and park on the side of the store on 99th. I'm walking in and an older guy (not in his 40s as it says. Mid to late 50s minimum) comments on how he likes my Charger SRT8. We did engage in brief small talk as we entered together. I walked straight ahead for the drinks he made a left and went toward to back. Within seconds as I selected my Dew he does tap me on my right shoulder and tells me the place was being held up. Here's where his story gets sketchy. First off I was not humming. I was on my way to work overnight, how happy could I possibly have been. The robber DID NOT walk in and yell "This is a hold up" if he did, why would I need him to tap me on the shoulder and tell me what an armed gunman had apparently already yelled when he entered the store? If you've ever been in a 7 Eleven, you know that its not very big so u can easily hear people talking, "commtion at the front of the store" or easily someone declaring a hold up. When Mr Marine got my attention he asked me what to do. It was me that told him that there should be an emergency exit in the back room. Once in the back room (where there were plenty of broom and mop sticks for him to go back and do his best Steven Seagal impersonation) asked me if I had a phone. I told him that I left it in my car. The back door had one of those Detex alarms where if u push the bar, the alarm sounds. He stopped and looked for a sec, he said "there's an alarm" I said PUSH IT, LETS GO." We did run one block west on 99th to Sawyer I believe it is, and turned North. We both went knocking on the door of the 1st house and got no answer. I went to try the next house, he went to look down 99th to see if he saw him leaving. I was at the 2nd house watching him at the corner. All of a sudden he says "oh shit" and tried to run but he slipped and fell in the grass. I then ran between the 2nd and 3rd houses and into the back yard of of the 2nd. I ducked and hid next to the porch. Seconds later he comes walking into the yard saying he pointed he pointed the gun at me. (I saw or heard absolutely nothing) I asked him where he was now. He said "right in front of this house" I said then why in the hell are we sitting here? I jumped up and went out the back into the alley and back to Kedzie where I heard the police arriving. That guy was there, and like me, I'm sure he was very scared. He seemed like a cool guy, so maybe in all the chaos his memory of the facts got a little distorted. But he's telling the story like he was an unarmed Vin Diesel looking death in the face, and I was just some damsel in distress who he heroically saved while he executed his strategic escape plan. And that is the 100% proof guys. So u were right when u said something didn't sound right...it wasn't
Katie N November 06, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Shoulda just pulled the damn fire alarm. N wtf! U guys just left the woman n her son in there while you guys escaped?!!
Joe Kocur November 06, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Always carry! Don't leave home without it. Kel tek 380 during day and a nice compact Springfield armory 45 at nite. Only downside of carrying is that if you do defend yourselves you can't hide from that feel good liberal who will turn on you. Good luck
Traci LeBlanc November 16, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Wait, so a Marine left a woman and her child in the store while he went out the back door? I know a great deal of Marines, and not one I know would escape out the back door leaving a woman and a child inside. Hmm.
Roy Keane November 18, 2013 at 02:21 PM
@Traci Leblanc You know what, EVERYBODY says that. The fact is, you NEVER know for sure what you're going to do until you find yourself in that situation. Perhaps the Marine had a family of his own. What's better, taking a bullet standing up for a convenience store and customers you don't know? Or live on so you can continue being a husband and father to your own family. Think about that for a minute. In any event, not worth debating. If we had conceal and carry in Illinois many of these robberies would not even occur.
Traci LeBlanc November 18, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Couldn't agree more with the conceal and carry @Roy Keane. Hopefully Illinois stays moving forward with that incentive and things change here in 2014!

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