News reports about increased crime in areas such as San Francisco, California, and Chicago, Illinois, are nothing new, but a Florida robbery in broad daylight added a new perspective to the nation’s ongoing crime wave.
A group of criminals reportedly teamed up for a so-called smash-and-grab robbery at the Magic Mall in Orlando — and it proved fatal for two of the suspects.
Before police arrived at the scene on Friday, one store owner pulled out his concealed handgun and opened fire.
The armed victim later explained: “I don’t know if they got anything. One of them got a bullet, though.”
A police statement confirmed the shooting, explaining that the “store owner shot at the suspects” and one “was found deceased on scene.”
Three other individuals managed to escape and officers found their getaway vehicle a short distance from the mall. Inside was another suspect who had also been shot and was transported to an area hospital where he later died.
Second scene just a block from the Magic Mall is where another suspect was found shot. OPD says three of the four suspects fled in a car. Two suspects are dead. It’s unknown if the other two are in custody. @fox35orlando pic.twitter.com/jH9NXQxfgQ
— Dave Puglisi (@DavePuglisiTV) October 14, 2022
Unlike in some jurisdictions with much tougher gun laws, one of the store owners at Magic Mall advised would-be robbers to assume that their victims are packing heat.
“There’s a lot of concealed license carriers here,” the individual warned. “So if you come to the Magic Mall and you want to commit a crime, there’s a really good chance you’re going to get shot.”
Another individual explained that armed store owners are not looking for trouble but are prepared to intervene in order to protect life and property from potentially deadly criminals.
“Normally we’re good, but we have to take care of ourselves,” the store owner said. “We have to.”
An Orlando resident who lives near the mall echoed the store owners’ warning, explaining: “Sooner or later, they’re going to get them.”
As of the latest reports available, police did not have information about the identity or whereabouts of the two other suspects in the brazen robbery.
According to a poll commissioned by the Fraternal Order of Police earlier this year determined that more than 80% of voters see crime as a major problem — and Republican candidates have been honing in on the issue ahead of next month’s midterm elections.
Shortly after the poll was released, FOP National President Patrick Yoes explained: “It is good to see that, despite everything we have been through in the last decade, most people recognize the good work of their local law enforcement agencies. What’s more, we’re seeing that politicians and public officials who don’t support public safety will lose votes.”