Two robbers attack Chicago store where owner fiercely fights back

CHICAGO -- It was about 90 seconds of terror as about 10 shots rang out in a Chicago store and those being robbed fought back with whatever they could grab, including a baseball bat.

“It was like the Fourth of July. Pow, pow, pow,” Luis Quizhpe told reporters, including the Chicago Tribune, from his hospital bed Wednesday. “Then he was yelling, 'Kill the .'”

One man, Cornell Mack, was in police custody on charges of attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and discharge of a firearm in the Tuesday robbery attempt on the novelty store in the Logan Square neighborhood. A second suspect is being sought.

Mack was being treated at a hospital, apparently shot by his accomplice during the melee caught on a surveillance video.

The attempted robbery took place at Quizhpe's Gifts and Sports. Luis Quizhpe and his brother-in-law, Luis Ernesto Aucaquizhpe, were working in the afternoon when two men wearing hoodies enter. A man flashes a weapon, the video shows.

“I thought it was a toy, but what made me frightened and really made me angry was when they grabbed my brother-in-law by the neck and they were pointing the gun at him,” Quizhpe, 62, said.

One of them envelopes Aucaquizhpe and drags him to the counter. The suspect points a gun at Quizhpe while the other robber walks around to the cash register where Quizhpe holds out his hands in apparent supplication. The robber grabs a handful of cash, and a fight with Quizhpe erupts.

The gunman opens fire apparently hitting his comrade, who limps back around the counter and toward the front door.

All four figures then leap into action as though a video game had somehow been set to fast-forward. The gunman repeatedly fires as he jumps over the counter to reach a button or switch that could unlock the door.

Meanwhile, Quizhpe is swinging wildly with a bat. Brother-in-law Aucaquizhpe joins in, fencing with a metal rod, then hurling a stool and, finally, a fire extinguisher at the assailants.

Quizhpe said he is considering retiring and selling the store that his family has run for decades.

“With what happened, I've been thinking about selling everything off and changing my business,” he said. “The reality is, with everything going on, it's difficult to put myself and my family in danger.”

--Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times