CHICAGO (CBS) — An exchange of gunfire between a store owner and four robbery suspects, left the owner dead and two of the robbers in the hospital with gunshot wounds.
Mohammed Maali, 33, was married, lived in Bridgeview with four young children and had owned the store for a few months. He operated other stores in the area and neighbors said he was kind and offered credit to those who couldn’t pay for their goods right away.
“He always had a smile on his face even if there was something wrong.” said a co-worker. “Everybody loved him.”
Maali was confronted by four suspects around 1:45 p.m. who announced a robbery and took the cash register drawer. At some point, Maali drew his weapon and he and the offenders exhanged gunfire. The Michigan Merchandise convenience store is located near 71st Street and State in the Park Manor neighborhood.
Maali was fatally wounded in the left side of this chest.
One suspect, a 17-year-old male, sustained a gunshot wound to the leg and left side of the body. He was transported to University of Chicago, where doctors stabilized him. A second suspect, a 32-year-old male, was shot in the left leg and was also stabilized by doctors at U.of C.
The other two suspects were also taken into custody by police.
Charges are pending and one weapon has been recovered.
CPD also confirms that they are unsure whether the weapon recovered at the scene belongs to the clerk or the offenders.
“He was so amazing so great, he would give you anything,” said one of Maali’s customers, Helen Gardner.