An 86-year-old man who attempted to help police foil an armed robbery at a Crestwood, Il., phone store Saturday by firing at the fleeing suspect may not have broken the law, but firearms trainers say he ignored a basic rule of carrying a gun in public: Don’t try to be a hero, reports the Chicago Tribune. The man, who has a permit to carry a concealed gun, won’t face charges for firing two shots outside an AT&T store. A police officer pursuing the suspect had to duck for cover, not knowing where the shots were coming from. No one was injured.
Officials refused to identify the permit holder but described him as a “model citizen.” Even so, the shooting put a fine point on some difficult issues as Illinois gets accustomed to the new concealed carry law that took effect in January. State-approved trainers who teach permit applicants the proper way to carry weapons in public said the Crestwood incident easily could have had a tragic ending. In the 16-hour courses required to obtain a concealed carry permit, trainers said they emphasize that people carrying firearms in public should not act like law enforcement officers. “We don’t want people to take the law into their own hands and start chasing suspects. The risk and probability are much higher that you will hit an innocent bystander if you try to be a hero,” said Andre Queen, owner of Fidelity Investigative Training Academy in Chicago. “Or the permit holder could be shot by the police mistaking him as a bad guy.”