Phone store owner praises employee with carry permit

Two men are recovering from multiple gunshot wounds while they face charges after an attempted robbery at a Chicago cellphone store Wednesday morning was cut short by an employee carrying a concealed weapon.

Two men, armed with handguns, walked into a Calumet Heights T-Mobile store and announced a robbery around 11 a.m., The Chicago Tribune reports. But instead of handing over cash or other valuables, one of the employees opened fire on the two suspects, striking them both and sending them immediately fleeing.

The two suspects, whose ages were released but not their names, then drove themselves to a nearby hospital. The 35-year-old suspect suffered from gunshot wounds to the left arm and groin area, while the 24-year-old suspect was shot in the left arm and abdomen. Both were transferred to another hospital and listed in serious condition. Robbery charges are pending.

Neil Tadros, district manager for T-Mobile, said the employee’s actions were taken to protect himself and others. “Thank God for concealed carry,” he said.

AJ Joudeh, regional manager for T-Mobile, closed the store down for the day after the shooting and sent everybody home.

Spokesperson for T-Mobile Annie Garrigan said the business is not actually owned or operated by T-Mobile, but rather an independent store that sells their products.

Joudeh said they allow their employees with a concealed carry license to carry a firearm while at work, and he, as well as authorities, confirmed the employee who shot the suspects did, in fact, possess a valid carry license.

Taros added he thinks allowing employees to carry concealed weapons helps deter criminal activity.

“A lot of people think they can go out and rob people without anyone defending themselves,” Tadros said. “It’s a great thing to have to protect yourself, even when you’re not in your business. If you’re out in the streets and someone is threatening your life, you can go out and protect yourself.”