A security guard claimed to have been acting “in self defence” when he allegedly shot an unarmed man who tried to enter a shop without wearing a face mask.
A Chicago court heard how liquor store security guard Chester Holmes opened fire after the man had argued with him about the US shop’s mandatory mask policy.
The 28-year-old victim entered the shop around 9.53am on Monday August 23.
He argued with Holmes about the mask policy before eventually leaving. But a few moments later he changed his mind and tried again to enter the store.
It was at that point, the court was told, that Holmes drew his pistol and shot him.
Cook County judge Mary Marubio said: "The victim fled the store, fell outside, followed by the defendant [who], according to the surveillance video, shot a second time.
"The defendant then paced back and forth, and shot a third time."
She ordered that Holmes should be held without bail after the court was told that the 42-year-old security guard is barred from possessing a weapon because he is a four-time convicted felon and registered child sex offender.
Holmes’ defence attorney Jonathan Feldman said his client “has a big heart and is a kind-hearted man” who shot a customer three times because the customer was “putting other’s lives at risk by not wearing a mask”.
The man was wounded in the arm, leg and stomach.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital where surgeons had to remove part of his intestines.
Meanwhile, Holmes had fled the scene, throwing away his gun and part of his security guard’s uniform as he did so.
Nearby police officers, who had heard the gunshots, gave chase and apprehended Holmes soon afterwards.
He told arresting officers where they could find his weapon and uniform, Auguste told the court, as well as allegedly admitting to shooting the victim.
Jonathan Friedman said Holmes had been “fully cooperative” with police, showing that he had an “innocent mindset” with “nothing to hide.”
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“This is obviously going to be a self-defence case,” he added.
He said that the shooting was the result of “basically, a customer who’s unruly, who wants to put other lives at risk”, by not wearing a face covering.
Holmes has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
He is currently being held without bail pending a date for his trial.
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