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One Killed, Another Shot Trying To Rob Armored Truck

Armored Truck Robbery

Two armed assailants allegedly tried to rob this armored truck at the intersection of Homan and Chicago Avenues. Police said the truck guards shot the two robbers, killing one and wounding the other. (Credit: CBS)

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Updated 01/28/11 – 5:46 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – One man was killed and another was critically wounded when they were shot while allegedly trying to rob an armored truck on the West Side.

The armored truck was making a pickup from the Family Dollar store at 3401 W. Chicago Av., when two armed men approached and tried to rob the truck’s security guards, according to Harrison Area Police Deputy Chief Wayne Gulliford.

The guards fired shots at both assailants, killing one of them and wounding another, Gulliford said. The wounded robber was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition. The other robber died on the way to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

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A woman, who was driving by, saw the struggle involving the robber who survived. The woman was frightened and asked to remain anonymous, but did talk about what she witnessed.

“I saw the robber on top of the armored truck guy and they were struggling. And as soon as the armored truck guy got the robber off, he then pulled out his gun and shot it three times,” she said. “The guy went down. The bad guy went down.”

After he was shot, the robber tried to get up but couldn’t, the woman said.

“You could tell he was very hurt,” she added.

Tennille Simmons, 27, a stylist at Hair Mechanics at 3356 W. Chicago Ave., was sitting next to the front window reading a magazine when she saw one of the guards carrying a bag get out of an armored truck parked outside the Family Dollar store.

Simmons said a man approached the guard and tried to wrestle the bag away from him, but the guard resisted, and the two were turning in “circles,’’ struggling when the guard reached for his gun.

While this was happening, another suspect wearing camouflage was pointing a sawed-off shotgun at the driver who was still inside the truck.

She then heard a gunshot. “I hit the floor,’’ Simmons said. She stayed there for what seemed like a minute and went outside to see what was happening. Other people in the salon called 911.

As she approached she saw a man lying on the ground with blood gushing from his eyes.

“I ran out and saw the man on the ground, but he didn’t have no eyes,”’ she said. “He kept trying to get up but was falling down and crawling. I was like, ‘Is this a movie?'”

“He was on the ground, struggling to get up. He’d get up and crawl a few feet and then fall again,’’ she said of the man shot.

That man was wearing a tan coat with a hood and jeans and he was young, maybe in his 20s. Simmons said she did not see a gun on either of the suspects and they were not wearing masks.

Simmons said she also saw the other suspect lying on the ground.

Leonard Fairfax, who lives next to the crime scene, said he was awakened by his 7-year-old daughter’s screams. She heard the shots and was looking out the window as the men fought for their lives.

“She just seen people moving and running and one person fall and that was it,” Fairfax said.

Fairfax rushed to the window and saw the gruesome aftermath.

“One of them got shot in the face, another one was just down, just down, wasn’t moving at all,” Fairfax said.

He ordered his family to stay away from the windows until police arrived. Now he’s worried about what to tell his little girl.

“She asked what happened. I don’t know what to tell her. I don’t know what to tell her,” Fairfax said.

The woman who saw part of the struggle said, “I wanted to throw up. That’s how sick I was. I’ve never seen anything like this and never thought it would ever happen.”

Sullivan said the suspect who died was initially taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition. He was pronounced dead at 10:17 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The two guards were not hurt, but were “shaken up,’’ Gulliford said. Nothing was stolen during the robbery attempt.

Sullivan said a saw-ed off shotgun and a pistol were recovered from the scene.

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