Wauconda police: Shooting of robbery suspect appears justified
A Wauconda store clerk killed a would-be robber Sunday night in what police are calling a justified shooting.
Police said the masked man was shot to death after walking into the Kwick Shop convenience store, 112 E. Liberty St., shortly after 9 p.m., pointing a handgun at a customer and clerk, then demanding money.
Wauconda Police Chief Patrick Yost said the 44-year-old patron ran to a neighboring business to call 911 while the Kwick Shop employee reached under a cash register for a handgun. The clerk, identified by family as 24-year-old Ahmad Samhan, fired at the masked man, striking him in the chest, Yost said.
Officers arrived about the time Samhan called 911 to report the shooting, authorities said.
"The clerk pretty much thought he was going to be a goner," Yost said.
Wauconda Fire Protection District paramedics brought the unidentified robbery suspect to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Lake Barrington, where he was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. Sunday, authorities said.
The would-be robber, described as a white male in his early to mid 20s, was not carrying any identification. Authorities had hoped to identify him through fingerprints, but his prints did not find a match Monday in any law enforcement database, Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd said.
It is not yet known how the man got to the store, Yost added.
Yost said Samhan had a valid Firearm Owners Identification card and, based on a preliminary review by police and the Lake County State's Attorney's office, his actions were justified.
"By all intents, it sounds like it was on the up-and-up," Yost said. "We have no reason to doubt that at this point."
Samhan was not at the store Monday, but his older brother, Jawad Samhan, said he's doing well after a mostly sleepless night.
"My brother called me after this happened and he was shocked," Jawad Samhan said outside the store, where specks of blood could still be seen near the entrance Monday morning. "When he called me, when he first called me, he was freaked out."
Jawad Samhan said his family has owned the downtown Wauconda convenience store for about 2½ years. He said they kept a .40-caliber handgun in the store for protection, but Sunday night was the first time they've ever had trouble.
"This is a really safe town," said Jawad Samhan, who was planning to reopen the store later Monday. "Really good people around here."
Kwick Stop is across the street from Wauconda Pharmacy, where an employee shot a would-be armed robber in 2011. Guy Conti of Island Lake, who was wearing a ski mask while armed with a butcher-style knife when he tried to rob the pharmacy, later pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery.
Wauconda Pharmacy and Kwick Stop, both family-owned businesses, are about a block from the village's police station. Yost said it's understandable that small businesses see a need to have firearms because it's such a personal endeavor.
"Not that this doesn't happen at businesses that aren't family owned, but I think -- this is an opinion of my own -- I think there's more likelihood a family-owned business would have access to firearms than would, say, a supermarket chain or something of that nature," the chief said.
Yost said there was a surveillance camera in the Kwick Shop, but video may not be available due to technical problems.