CHICAGO (WLS) — Sitting right in the heart of Old Town is an area that is busy day and night.
The idea of a shooting breaking out inside a Walgreens there immediately raised concerns, especially in light of recent armed robberies at retail establishments in the neighborhood. But, Chicago’s 2nd Ward alderman wants people to know that it was not a random act of violence.
By 10 a.m. Sunday, it was back to business as usual at the 24-hour Walgreens located at the corner of North Avenue and Wells Street. Most customers were unaware of the exchange of gunfire that police said took place between an employee and another man, who came into the store just before midnight. As it turns out, there was a pre-existing conflict between those two men.
“One is an employee of Walgreens, the other, possibly, a former employee. We don’t have that confirmed yet. But, we do know they knew each other,” said Ald. Brian Hopkins.
According to police, the 26-year-old store employee suffered a graze wound to the chest, while the second man, described as being in his late 20s, was shot multiple times and is in critical condition at Northwestern Hospital. But, Hopkins said, it still unclear who pulled their weapon first, with surveillance video of the incident still being examined.
“The detectives have to read the body language, slow it down, use stop motion framing to try and figure out when the weapon came out and when the shots were fired. And, by the way, there were numerous shots fired, we think at least 20 rounds were fired within the store itself,” Hopkins said.
Walgreens on Sunday would not confirm the details, saying in a statement, “The safety of our patients, customers and team members is our top priority. We take this matter seriously and are cooperating with the Chicago Police Department.”
One regular customer told ABC7, however, she’s disconcerted, not just by what happened, but that a Walgreens employee was carrying a loaded weapon at work.
“It’s alarming that it can break out in the middle of a place that you go every day,” Wendy Sharkey said. “We could have stopped in after being out for the evening and been caught in the crossfire.”
ABC7 was told there were only a couple of customers inside the store at the time. They fled immediately following the shooting. ABC7 has not been able to verify that information with Walgreens.
Walgreens told ABC7 they have a policy against carrying weapons at work.
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