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Man shot while trying to prevent robbery outside café in Chicago's Wicker Park community

Man shot while trying to stop robbery attempt in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood
Man shot while trying to stop robbery attempt in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood 01:53

CHICAGO (CBS) — A man was shot and critically wounded while trying to intervene in an attempted robbery outside of a lounge in the Wicker Park neighborhood overnight.

Police believe the shooting is connected to robberies in the area.

The shooting happened just before 4 a.m. outside Estelle's Café and Lounge at 2013 W. North Ave., just steps west of the iconic intersection of Milwaukee, Damen, and North avenues – popularly known as "The Crotch." The area sees high traffic of all kinds – even in the middle of the night – and Estelle's has a 4 a.m. liquor license.

Police said two women were standing outside Estelle's when a silver-colored car pulled up, and two men tried to rob them at gunpoint.

A 31-year-old man stepped in to try to help the women, and the would-be robbers shot him, police said.

Police said the man was shot in the torso – describing his injury as critical. He was rushed to Stroger Hospital of Cook County.

The would-be robbers left the scene heading west on North Avenue, police said. Thankfully, no one else was caught in the gunfire.

In a statement, Estelle's said: "The police were on the scene last night and were given all of our camera footage. Our cameras did capture the entire horrific incident. Our prayers go out to the victim who was shot and the others who were robbed at gunpoint.  We are enthusiastically cooperating with the police. We appreciate and are grateful for how quickly the police responded and were on the scene.

"The victims had left the bar and were just west of the alley when the incident occurred at 3:45 a.m."

Good Samaritan shot during robbery attempt in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood 01:43

Police had the area around the crime scene blocked off for hours, with cameras rolling as they searched for evidence. As of the mid-afternoon, they were still investigating – and their probe included a connection to other recent crimes.

Police dispatch audio indicated that the silver Infiniti used by the shooters was involved in three armed robberies the day before on Division Street – half a mile south.

Late Friday, no one was in custody. Grand Central Area detectives were investigating, and police declined further comment with an active investigation under way.

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