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Would-be robber, Chicago jewelry store worker who shot him both released without charges

Would be robber, jewelry store staffer who shot him released without charges
Would be robber, jewelry store staffer who shot him released without charges 02:08

CHICAGO (CBS) -- After a worker opened fire on a would-be robber at a jewelry store downtown this past weekend, police took both the worker and the robbery suspect into custody.

CBS 2 reached out to the person who fired the shot, and others inside a jewelry store at 1 N. Wabash Ave. along Jewelers Row. No one wanted to talk on camera, but CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller said this was a clear case of self-defense on the employee's part.

The robbery happened just before 11 a.m. Saturday.

Surveillance video shows the would-be robber, who wore a red sweatshirt, walking around for about a minute before he took off running toward the entrance. 

He began to bash in a glass case, and that's when the employee reached behind the counter and began shooting at the man before he tried to get away. 

"The moment that person took an object and broke that glass, that person was committing a forcible felony," said CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller. "He was no longer walking around checking the place out."

For that reason, Miller said under the law, the employee legally defended himself and his business – even though the suspected robber was leaving when he was shot.

"The person in the store who was working there had the right to use deadly force under Illinois law, and Illinois law is very specific as to what constitutes self-defense," Miller said.

The statute reads clearly, "A person is justified in the use of force… to prevent imminent death… or commission of forcible felony" – and the category of "forcible felony" includes "robbery, burglary,"

After getting shot, the suspected robber is seen stumbling out the door. He circles back to pick up something he dropped before running up to the platform the Chicago Transit Authority Loop 'L' tracks – bleeding.

The employee who fired had a concealed carry license – and that protected him, according to Miller.

"If this person who did the firing didn't have a concealed carry; didn't have an FOID card, that store owner; store employee, would have been charged with a weapons violation - a felony," Miller said.

CBS 2 checked late Monday with Chicago Police, who said both the store clerk and the suspected robber were released without any charges. But police said the case is still under investigation.

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