CHICAGO (CBS) — A Portage Park liquor store owner exchanged gunfire with two robbers Tuesday night.
Around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, two masked men walked into Friendly Food & Liquor, near the corner of Milwaukee and Cullom, and pointed a gun at the owner and his friend.
The owner, Sarkon Khoshaba, said the robbers kept threatening to shoot him and his friend before making off with $100 in cash and more than $1,000 in merchandise and other possessions.
Khoshaba said he was caught off guard when the robbers barged in as he was behind the counter, and his life flashed before his eyes as he was being robbed.
Within a minute, the pair stole several hundred dollars’ worth of liquor, Khoshaba’s iPhone, an empty gun case, and a cash register.
Outside, a getaway driver was waiting in a silver minivan.
Khoshaba said he ran after the robbers, hoping to catch the van’s license plate.
“As soon as I came out, they started shooting at me,” he said.
A bullet struck the front of the store. Khoshaba had a gun, so he fired back. He bought the gun four years ago, but had never used it until last night.
“I took my gun just to have something on me and went outside to look at the license plate and then he shot at me. That’s when I fired back at him.”
He apparently shot the van, as shards of glass were strewn across the street outside his store.
Khoshaba said he’s thankful no one was hit.
“I’m a family man. I’ve got kids and stuff. You don’t want somebody’s blood on your hands, even the thieves,” he said.
The store has at least five surveillance cameras inside, but that didn’t keep the robbers away. Khoshaba said he has never been robbed before and the suspects stole his sense of security.
“Honestly, they did. I mean, I’ve been here seven years. I mean this neighborhood usually is a pretty quiet neighborhood, but I don’t know what happened last night. They just came out of nowhere,” he said.
No one was in custody Wednesday morning. Area North detectives were investigating.