An Illinois concealed carrier was forced to defend himself when a 15-year-old suspect began shooting during a private sale meetup, according to the Rockford Police Department.
The victims were selling goods to four teenage suspects, and during the transaction, the four suspects tried to steal the items, leading to a struggle. One of the suspects, a 15-year-old boy, pulled out a gun and started shooting. One of the victims had his own handgun and fired back. The victim has a valid Illinois Concealed Carry License.
The four suspects ran but were later intercepted by police officers. The teen suspect had possession of a gun that was reported stolen and was charged with Armed Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, Aggravated Discharge of a Weapon, Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Possession of a Stolen Firearm.
Another 15-year-old was charged with Armed Robbery, Possession of Stolen Property, and Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery. A 17-year-old teen was charged with Armed Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, and an outstanding Winnebago County warrant for their arrest. Another 17-year-old was taken into custody for an outstanding Kane County arrest warrant.
Meeting strangers for private transactions, especially when buying or selling high-value items, can be very dangerous. We have covered numerous incidents where people have been robbed, injured, or even killed during these transactions. That is why it’s important to use safe places when conducting in-person exchanges, such as police stations or other public locations with high foot traffic.
The Rockford Police Department has designated all three police precincts and the Winnebago County Criminal Justice Center as safe zones for online meetups. The police department is encouraging buyers and sellers to take advantage of these designated locations to help keep themselves and others safe. By using common sense and taking the necessary precautions, individuals can significantly reduce the risks associated with online transactions.