Security guard shot dead at Marquette Park clothing store

November 23, 2007
BY LISA DONOVAN Staff Reporter
The start of the busy holiday shopping season turned violent at a tiny, tidy clothing store on Chicago’s Southwest Side this afternoon as a security guard was shot and killed.
Just before 1 p.m., a trio of thieves walked in to Get M Girlz at 2547 W. 63rd, announced a robbery and started to unload the racks of clothing.

One of the robbers began struggling with the store’s security guard, and in a matter of seconds, the guard had been shot several times in the chest, according to Chicago Police.

As the thieves bolted from the business, Harold D. Long Jr., 22, of the 800 block of North Sacramento, lay dying.

He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

Long’s family said he had worked at the store for about 1 1/2 years and was going to barber school in hopes of one day opening his own shop.

A second person in the store, a female salesclerk, was not injured in the holdup.

“There are witnesses,” said 8th District police Cmdr. Leo Schmitz. Police also said they’ve received some helpful leads.

One shopkeeper in the area said the clothing store had been targeted by robbers before. Police said store owners need to be especially careful given the season.

“This is the time of year where if you’re selling a lot, these bad guys know you’ve got a lot,” Schmitz said.

Harvey Hobson, who owns the What’s Poppin’ popcorn and candy store across the street from the clothing store, said he’s concerned about his own shop. He believes the clothing store had been robbed at least two other times, and that thieves tried to hold up a nearby dry cleaners in recent weeks but left after learning the cash receipts had already been deposited.

“You know, they’re coming in here and stealing from their own neighborhood,” Hobson said, believing the robbers are from the area.

“These are just small businesses. They’re taking what little we’ve got.”

The slain security guard “was a nice young man who used to come in here,” Hobson said.

“I hated to hear that happened to him — he was just a real good guy.”

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