CHICAGO (SCS) — A beloved supermarket worker has died after aFriday in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago. The would-be thief also died after being shot by a customer with a concealed carry license.
A big question was who shot first – the customer with a transport permit or the potential thief?
According to police, when the offender entered the store and pulled out a gun, the customer shot him. It was then that police said the would-be thief fought back, beating and killing the employee.
The family of Ali Hassan, 64, shared a photo of the beloved community man whom he and his two younger brothers served.
“It’s weird here. I’m hurt here because he’s my guy,” said Lindsay Ellis, a longtime South Shore resident.
On Saturday, neighbors found the doors of the El Barakah supermarket on 73rd and the South Shore still closed after violence erupted just before closing on Friday evening.
“We just walked out of the store at 6:30 p.m. They close at 7 p.m.,” Ellis said. “As soon as I walked into the house, sit on the couch, I heard the pop, pop, pop, pop.”
Police say when the would-be thief tried to rob the store at gunpoint, a customer shot him, hitting him in the chest. It was then that police said the attacker shot Hassan, hitting him in the chest and back. The would-be thief fled but was found dead a block from South Coles.
Longtime South Shore resident Mallory Jones was not at all surprised that an armed client tried to protect Hassan by shooting the robber. Jones said Hassan runs the business with such respect and compassion for the community that he has become like family to many.
“It wouldn’t have made any difference who was in the store,” he said. “If someone in the neighborhood was in the store and they were armed, the result would have been the same because you attacked the family.”
The kindness Hassan showed in everyday moments, neighbors say, will never be forgotten.
“When they first opened this store, I brought my boys here,” Ellis said. “I was trying to pay for their stuff. He was like, ‘You don’t have to pay for that. Give that to the kids. He said, “Keep the money.”
Hassan’s nephew said his uncle was like a second father figure to him. The family mourns this loss.
Neighbors say a funeral service will be held for Hassan on Monday.
Detectives are still investigating.