CHICAGO, IL – A permit holder in Chicago shot an assailant in the hand during an altercation recently after the assailant had been asked to leave the place of business where the fracas took place.
Assailant Shot In The Hand During Altercation
According to a press release from the Chicago Police Department, a 25-year-old man was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in the late afternoon of September 1 with a gunshot wound.
He had entered a business in the South Blue Island neighborhood and had a confrontation with the store owner or operator, a 64-year-old male with a valid concealed carry permit.
If one were to look at Google Maps, the 2200 block of South Blue Island Avenue is a retail district with small shops and convenience stores.
The store owner/operator/manager had asked the man to leave after several incidents in the store. The 25-year-old refused, and a verbal altercation began that escalated into a fight. During the physical altercation, the store owner/operator drew his pistol and fired, striking the man in the hand.
Police report that one offender is in custody after the incident but neglected to say who.
Gunshot wounds to the hands tend to happen for one of two reasons. First is, the shooter was firing blindly and happened to get a piece of an appendage. The second is that the shooter focused on a weapon, and that’s what they fired at.
It’s called “weapon focus,” which has been documented in the medical, psychological and legal literature. (For instance, this article from the journal Law And Human Behavior from 1987.) The short version is that the presence of a weapon draws focus due to the threat. However, some studies have shown that ocular focus is drawn to unusual and unexpected objects as a “SUDDEN OBJECT!!!” generates arousal.
In other words, the human brain makes the eyes focus on an object when it appears suddenly, be it a gun, a knife, or even (as was found in a study) an unexpected pocket watch. However, a picture of a gun or knife in a lab is not a gun or knife being pulled on the street.
Weapon focus was purportedly why the FBI taught the offset flashlight technique after a number of agents were shot in the flashlight hand. To this day, a number of criminals are shot in the hand by police and armed citizens every year… and vice versa.
Unfortunately, it also leads to a number of incidents where police fatally shoot innocent people who had something in their hand but not necessarily a weapon, such as this incident from August of this year, and was a factor in the shooting of Amadou Diallo.
While Chicago police did not report if the perpetrator pulled a weapon in the store, it’s certainly possible.