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After store owner fatally shoots robber, mayor calls for more gun control

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After a suburban Chicago store owner shot and killed an armed robber who was also a prime suspect in a shooting that wounded a police officer last month, the mayor called for stricter gun control measures.

Demarcus Brandon entered a Harvey, Ill., wireless phone store Tuesday night brandishing a gun and demanding money. His robbery attempt was cut short, however, when the store owner brought out his own weapon and shot Brandon multiple times, killing him, according to CBS Channel 2 Chicago.

Detectives from the South Side suburb of Chicago had been searching three weeks for Brandon in connection with a shooting that had injured a police officer. Thanks to the armed store owner, the Harvey Police Department can call off its manhunt.

Brandon was out on early release from a 2007 armed robbery attempt. According to the local CBS station:

Brandon was paroled in July from the Shawnee Correctional Center, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

In 2007, he was arrested while fleeing the scene of an armed robbery attempt in Dolton, according to Harvey police. During the chase, he entered Harvey and pointed his gun in the direction of an officer, who shot him in the neck.

Brandon was convicted of armed robbery, armed violence and unlawful use of a weapon in the Dolton incident. He was released after serving less than half of his 13-year sentence.

“While I’m grateful that this nightmare has come to an end, I’m equally outraged concerning our gun laws that allowed this coward to walk the streets early,” Harvey Mayor Eric J. Kellogg said in a statement released shortly after the most recent robbery attempt.

Illinois legislators overrode the governor’s veto of the state’s new concealed carry law earlier this year, allowing law-abiding citizens like the Harvey store owner to protect themselves.

“Something must be done,” the mayor said in the statement. “Our residents are unsafe as well as our hard working policemen. I join Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in calling upon the state legislature to work harder in strengthening the current gun laws.”

Despite Chicago’s gun control laws – some of the strictest in the nation — gun violence remains rampant in the city, especially in its blighted South Side neighborhoods.

Clearly, stricter gun control isn’t the answer. But ending early release for violent convicts may be a step in the right direction.

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