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Man Charged in Logan Square Robbery Where Store Owner Fought Back

By  Victoria Johnson Emily Morris and Erin Meyer | April 10, 2013 7:03am | Updated on April 11, 2013 6:56pm

CHICAGO — A 53-year-old man was charged with attempted murder Thursday for trying to rob a 62-year-old Logan Square store owner at gunpoint — a robbery caught on video footage showing the store owner fighting back with a baseball bat.

Cornell Mack, who remained in the hospital Thursday, allegedly walked into Quizphe's Gifts, 2242 N. Western Ave., at about 5 p.m., Tuesday, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti said Thursday.

When his accomplice pointed a gun at store owner Luis Quizphe and grabbed his brother-in-law, Mack allegedly stepped behind the counter and opened the cash drawer, Antonietti said. 

He was removing the money when the other robber started shooting, striking the store owner in the thigh and Mack in the stomach, Antonietti said. Quizphe grabbed his bat and was swinging in self defense.

The two robbers tried to escape out the front door, but the store security system locked them inside, she said.

Despite being shot, the elder Quizphe continued to fight back — striking the gunman with a baseball bat until he ran off.

Mack, who according to police reports has a cheeseburger tattoed on the inside of his lip, was arrested at about 10 p.m., Wednesday in the 1900 block of West Polk Street.

He was ordered held on $750,000 by Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan today. When he is released from the hospital, sheriffs deputies will transport Mack to the county jail, where he will await trial unless he can post bond.

"They were willing to kill my father for it," said 30-year-old Luis Quizphe Jr. from the store Wednesday afternoon.

"But thank God," Quizphe Jr. said as he choked up, "It wasn't a worse situation."

The senior Quizphe was doing "much better" and was awake and alert Wednesday afternoon, Quizphe Jr. said.

The bullet went in and out the fleshy part of his leg, not causing any serious harm.

The family has owned the business for more than 25 years, Quizphe Jr. said, and they had been robbed three times before.

"The neighborhood is fairly safe," Quizphe Jr. said. "I mean, it's not a bad neighborhood. It seems like it was just desperate people using desperate measures."

Police said they are still looking for Mack's accomplice.