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Andersonville Walgreens Employee Deemed ‘Hero’ After Last Week’s Shooting

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Photo: Bruce West Barrios

Last week on a busy Valentine’s Saturday evening on Clark St. in Andersonville, a violent struggle unfolded in the Walgreens parking lot at 5440 N. Clark. The result of fight left two officers injured and another man arrested and charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder.

Now, additional detail are surfacing abut exactly what happened that evening at around 8 p.m. It all started as Walgreens employee Ray Robinson was alerted by other members of his team that a man was shoplifting from the store. That man was Thomas Thompson, a 33-year-old, 6-foot-3, 250-pound customer who was carrying out a bag full of dietary supplements and other unpaid goods.

Mr. Robinson approached the man as he walked out into the parking lot then looked in his bag and found the stolen items. He flagged down two police officers sitting in their nearby police SUV.

The officers quickly responded and tried to take control of the situation, but once they tried to arrest Thompson, he resisted then struck one officer in the face. The scene quickly got worse as both policemen were overtaken by the size of the suspect and all three scuffled on the ground.

According to a Chicago Tribune article, it was then that Robinson heard one of the officers call out that the suspect had possession of one his gun. Robinson knew the officers needed help, but as he dove into the pile of men a single shot rang out.

Luckily, no one was injured by the bullet, but Robinson did see the gun in Thompson’s hand as he pointed it over his shoulder to take another shot. It was at this moment Robinson pushed the gun in the suspect’s hand to the ground. He told the Tribune, “”I grabbed his hand I forced (the gun) to the cement. By the grace of God, I was able to get my other arm up there and was able to pry his finger off the trigger.”

At that moment back up police arrived and took final control of the situation. Robinson said the officers were beat up pretty bad and that his clothes were soaked in the their blood.  The officers were taken to an area hospital to treat their injuries and were later released.

Thompson, who has no criminal background, one child and served in the Army for two years was charged with two counts of attempted first degree. He was also found to be in possession of an undisclosed amount of cocaine.

Mr. Robinson is now being deemed a hero. Though his actions were quite honorable and possibly life saving, he did admit, “I would not recommend it. Things could’ve come out way different.”


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