CHICAGO (SCS) — A man was fatally shot Monday morning after attacking a security guard with an ax outside a marijuana dispensary in Greektown.
Police say around 10:05 a.m. — five minutes after the dispensary opened for the day — a man armed with an ax got into an argument with a security guard outside the Zen Leaf dispensary at 222 S. Halsted St. between Adams Street and Jackson. Boulevard.
The man swung the ax at the security guard, hitting him in the leg, and the security guard shot the man.
The man with the ax was taken to Cook County Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The security guard, a 37-year-old man, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with left leg lacerations and was listed as undamaged.
“I just heard all the police coming and stuff,” witness Schuyler Valentino said.
Valentino returned to the scene in shock – as minutes before opening he saw a man standing outside the dispensary with a blue backpack nearby. He thought nothing of it at the time.
“I mean, I just walked by,” Valentino said. “At first I thought the backpack had just been thrown over there and I was like, ‘Who would do that?'”
Restaurant workers in bustling Greektown also rushed to figure out what had happened.
“Things went wrong,” said a restaurant employee. “It used to be nice and clean. Not anymore.”
Zen Leaf released a statement following the incident.
“This morning outside Zen Leaf on Halsted Street an individual attacked a contracted third party security guard with a weapon outside the dispensary. Both individuals were taken to hospital with serious injuries. Zen Leaf will be closed for the remainder of Monday, September 5 to allow the Chicago Police Department to investigate this incident,” a Zen Leaf spokesperson said in an email.
Witnesses recalled first seeing the man who attacked the security guard standing outside the door with a backpack beside him before the attack. A pair of scissors was also spotted on the sidewalk after the incident.
The owners of the business said the incident was not a theft. Witnesses suggested the row may have been the result of a disgruntled customer.
Neighbors said the business was generally quiet.
“They’re all good people, man. Every time I say hello to someone there, they’re really nice people; really down to earth, and the security people are good people too,” said Valentino.
Area three detectives are investigating.