The manager of a cell phone store on the city's South Side said it was just instinct that prompted him to spring into action and fight off an armed robber Tuesday evening.
"Everything happened fast. I'm still absorbing this," Mostafa Mohammad said more than 24 hours later. "Nothing [like this] has ever happened to me before."
It was around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday when a man walked into the Cricket Wireless store in the 6400 block of Martin Luther King Drive. Surveillance video shows the man looking at a wall of phones and then showing a weapon as he moves behind the counter.
"He showed me the gun, and asked me to give him everything in the register," Mohammad recalled.
A few feet away, a woman standing at a register pulls out a phone, and thinking she was calling the police, the robber points the gun at her and in the direction of Mohammad's co-worker and her young daughter.
That's when Mohammed sprang into action, grabbing the gun. The gun fired and put a hole in the counter. A bullet grazed his co-worker and narrowly missed the young girl.
"He pointed the gun at them, right in my face, so it was just a split-second decision I made," Mohammad said.
The two men fell to the floor and fought for control of the gun. Mohammad said the man told him during the struggle that he was going to kill him.
Seconds later, Mohammad got the upper hand.
"I was just trying to keep everybody safe. I didn't want anybody to be hurt," he said.
But despite his best effort to hold the robber, Mohammad said the man ran off seconds later.
"I don't shoot people. I'm not a violent person. Especially considering the way Palestinians are portrayed in the news, I wanted to be an example of non-violence," he said.
Mohammad said he's a former youth organizer who cares about his community and wants to see it improve. Calumet Area detectives are investigating, but no one is in custody.
The robber made off with $83, a store employee said.