Two Chicago crooks were allegedly attempting to steal a catalytic converter when they were spotted by a nearby homeowner. Realizing they were seen in the midst of committing a crime, they decided to open fire on the man. Unfortunately for them, they underestimated their intended target, and one of them paid the ultimate price for the gross miscalculation.
Darion Blackman, a 25-year-old Chicago crook who was no stranger to police, caught the attention of an unnamed 44-year-old Lakeview man on a Wednesday night around 11:15 pm. It all began when the unnamed homeowner, who was sitting on the steps of his Chicago home on North Wolcott Avenue, heard a loud noise from the street and decided to investigate, The Blaze reported.
The 44-year-old man walked towards the noise and soon spotted two people under a parked car, one of which would later be identified as Darion Blackman. The two men in question were “seemingly tinkering with the engine,” News Onyx reported. What they were actually doing, however, was stealing a catalytic converter from the vehicle, according to WGN-TV. When they realized they had been spotted, things quickly went from bad to worse.
“The two males noticed the (44-year-old) watching and crawled out from underneath the vehicle. Without warning, both (men) drew their weapons and began shooting at (him),” police said, according to Quad City Times.
After realizing that they were being watched, the two crooks crawled out from under the car, brandished firearms, and started shooting at the unnamed 44-year-old homeowner, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, citing the police. Unbeknownst to Darion Blackman and his criminal companion, the dynamic duo was about to meet their match.
Rather than a helpless victim, the two crooks had just targeted a concealed carry license holder, who was ready to meet their deadly force with deadly force of his own. So, the intended victim pulled out his own gun and fired back, police said. According to reports, at least a dozen shots were fired with one of them hitting a nearby home’s window during the shootout.
Unfortunately for the crooks, the homeowner appeared to have the best aim. Although one of the gunmen was able to flee the scene, one of the homeowner’s bullets struck Darion Blackman in the neck. Blackman, who was identified by the Cook County medical examiner’s office, was pronounced dead at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
Unsurprisingly, authorities soon revealed that this wasn’t Blackman’s first run-in with the law. In fact, the deceased had been arrested just two months before his death for the unlawful use of a weapon without possession of a valid Firearm Owners Identification card. He was released the next day on parole, and from the look of things, he went right back to his life of crime.
A weapon was recovered at the scene, police said. Thankfully, the homeowner wasn’t injured during the shootout with the suspected thieves, and he declined medical treatment when paramedics arrived, authorities added. Although witnesses did not want to appear on camera, they confirmed hearing a dozen shots and seemed to support the homeowner’s recollection of events, which sounds like a justifiable shooting.
While there will likely be plenty of bleeding hearts who might suggest the homeowner should have minded his own business, it’s not a crime to investigate an unusual noise on your street. In fact, many would find it very reasonable to do so. Stealing a catalytic converter and pulling a gun on a witness who stumbled upon your crime in progress is, however, undeniably criminal, and the homeowner had every right to defend himself at that point.