Charges expected in Wauconda pharmacy shooting
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An employee at a downtown Wauconda drugstore shot and wounded a knife-wielding man who tried to rob the business Monday afternoon, police say.
Charges are expected to be filed this week against 31-year-old Guy Michael Conti of unknown addresses in Indiana and Arkansas, after police meet with the Lake County state's attorney's office, Wauconda Police Chief Doug Larsson said.
Conti remains at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, but was upgraded to stable condition Tuesday morning. Larsson said Conti was in surgery for more than two hours following the shooting.
Larsson said the Lake County State's Attorney's Office will dictate when charges will be filed against Conti. In most cases, offenders are not charged until they are released from the hospital.
Charges are not expected against the Wauconda Pharmacy employee who legally owns the registered gun and was allowed to have it in the business, police said. Larsson said the state's attorney's office will review the entire case file.
Larsson said officers responded to a 911 emergency call at 1:49 p.m. Monday about a robbery in progress at the pharmacy, from police headquarters at Liberty and Main streets.
Officers found a man with a gunshot wound to his side on the ground and quickly determined he was the robbery suspect.
Larsson said the man entered the drugstore wearing a ski mask and brandishing a large, butcher-style knife. He forced his way into the pharmacists' work area and demanded a large quantity of painkillers, the chief said.
After being handed the drugs, the man was confronted by a pharmacist and a technician, Larsson said. He said the workers overpowered the man and ordered him to halt and surrender.
Police said the suspect broke free and made threatening advances toward the technician and pharmacist. Larsson said the pharmacist then used the gun to fire more than one round at the suspect, striking him with a single, large-caliber bullet.
Several employees and two customers were inside Wauconda Pharmacy when the armed robbery attempt occurred, Larsson said. Only the robbery suspect was injured.
Police said Conti is familiar with the Wauconda area and it is believed he was staying with friends there.
"We will get the warrant, serve the warrant and take him into custody when he is able to travel," Larsson said. "We have a high degree of confidence that this is the person."
Larsson said an armed robbery was reported in December at Wauconda Pharmacy. "We're trying to establish a link between the first armed robbery and this one," he said.
At least seven police officers quickly swarmed the drugstore Monday afternoon. Larsson said he was in a meeting and dashed across the street when the armed robbery call came over the police radio.
Larsson said authorities have completed preliminary interviews and were still reviewing "excellent quality" video of the shooting.
Wauconda Pharmacy has been a local family-owned business for more than 100 years, according to the company's website. Terrance J. Bruner is the most recent owner, having taken over for his father, Ed.
• Daily Herald staff writer Paul Biasco contributed to this report.
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