Luis Quizhpe may never have articulated it thus, but he acted properly under the circumstances. Quizhpe, a shopkeeper in lawless Chicago, was attacked by two thugs who were willing to kill him and his family member Luis Aucaquizhpi (Chicago media variously call the guy brother, brother-in-law, or cousin) for the few dollars in the cash register. But Quizhpe was not up for dying. Denied a proper self-defense weapon by Chicago and Illinois laws, he armed himself with a baseball bat and proceeded to whale away on the robbers as one of them wildly fired shot after shot.
Of course, the robbery was unpossible because guns are banned in Chicago, right?
Anyway, the thug got off nine shots between taking hits from Quizhpe’s baseball bat and fending off Aucaquizhpi’s improvised weapons, including a chair and a fire extinguisher. One of the shots hit Quizhpe but didn’t interrupt his aggressive self-defense. Another shot hit the robber’s accomplice. It’s fair to say that marksmanship was not his strong point… fortunately.
Obe of the Chicago TV stations, WGN-TV, has quite a few stories on the event.
A Chicago man is recovering tonight after not only surviving a shooting in his store during a robbery but also fighting back. And the whole melee was caught on tape.
Surrounded by family and friends, Luis Quizhpe prepared to go home after spending a day in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound to his leg.
The 62-year-old talked from his hospital bed about his terrifying encounter with two armed men at the store he owns in Logan Square.
“It was really very scary,” he said.
Around 5:30 last night, two men walked into Luis’ souvenir shop. One pulled out a gun and pointed it at Luis’ brother-in-law and demands cash. The other man ran around the counter to the register.
“He started screaming, I don’t remember exactly what, but he was like ‘Kill them!’ “ Luis said.
Luis grabbed a bat and started swinging as the robber continued shooting. At one point, he accidentally shoots his accomplice, who later limps out of the store.
One of the bullets hit Luis in the upper inner thigh, nearly hitting a major artery.
Luis’ brother-in-law also fought back, throwing a chair at one of the men and then a fire extinguisher as he ran out of the store.
At least one of the robbers, a middle-aged guy, was later caught. He’s charged with attempted murder, saved from the homicide charge only by his own incompetence.
So — here’s a couple of guys who come in bent on robbery, under threat of deadly force, utter something like “kill him!” and don’t complete the killing only because their skills can’t close the gap with their intentions. Fair restatement of the above?
Now, had Luis Quizhpe done what the white shirts of the Chicago Police Department would have him do, he would most probably be dead, because the difference between the robber murdering him and failing to, at point-blank range, was the disruption to the robber’s aim caused by a Louisville Slugger upside the head. Most any combat vet will tell you his marksmanship takes a hit, pun intended, when you’re taking hostile fire. Imagine how much greater disruption when the hits are physical and the underlying marksmanship training is lacking!
So Quizhpe did the right thing. Resist, resist, resist, with the best weapon available to you. This does not mean that his bat is the best weapon possible in all circumstances, but in the peculiar environment of Chicago, where the robber will never be charged with gun possession, but Quizhpe would, a bat may be as near as he can go to full-on self-defense. A gun is a far more effective defensive weapon, but for many decades Chicago government has been one solicitous of the criminals — they and their relatives are reliable votes for the bipartisan Combine that runs the city and state governments and their associated patronage machinery — and contemptuous of the shopkeepers.
Quizhpe now faces the possibility that the robbers, once released, will come back, bent on revenge. Given the priorities and reach of the police, they are unlikely to be intercepted. Yet if he effectively arms himself for self-defense, they will surely throw the book at him.
In Boston recently, hospitals reacted to a mass casualty event. By the time the perpetrators were done, four were dead and scores wounded, some of them very seriously, (One wounded policeman lost all his blood and had his heart stop, and lives only because valiant doctors and nurses persisted with transfusions and artificial circulation, ultimately resuscitating him). In Boston this is an epochal cataclysm, requiring the utter lockdown of the city.
In Chicago, that’s any Saturday night.