CHICAGO — A South Side property owner and a man recently released from state prison on parole fatally shot each other Thursday morning during what Chicago police said appeared to be an armed robbery attempt.
The deadly exchange of gunfire occurred outside a residence in the 6800 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue in the Park Manor neighborhood around 9:45 a.m., according to police.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the property owner as Mark Miller of the 8300 block of South May Street. The suspected robber, 33, was not officially identified by the medical examiner's office, but police said he was a documented gang member. Autopsies for both men are scheduled for Friday.
Police believe Miller, 64, was outside the residence when the gunman pulled a handgun and attempted to rob the older man, Chicago police said. But Miller, a licensed concealed carry permit holder, pulled his own handgun, said officer Michelle Tannehill, a police spokeswoman.
At some point during the confrontation, the suspected robber fired three shots, wounding Miller in the abdomen, and Miller returned two gunshots, striking his assailant, police said.
Both men were found dead at the scene, along with firearms, Tannehill said.
Miller had been at the property to check the plumbing for his son, who owns the building, according to the son, Mark Miller Jr., 32.
Miller Jr., a trucker, was on the phone talking to his dad, rescheduling movie plans, as his father, who was "walking and talking at the same time," was outside the property, locking up the basement door. Suddenly, Miller Jr. heard gunshots, then his father saying: "Mark, I've been shot."
"He was being a dad. He was being a father. He was trying to help me out, and it wound up costing him his life in the process," Miller Jr. said.
A police source said Miller owns the property on South St. Lawrence Avenue and was waiting to meet with a repairman when the robbery attempt happened.
Court records show the suspected robber had an extensive criminal background with numerous arrests and felony convictions for gun and theft charges. The man was released from the Pinckneyville Correctional Center on stolen vehicle and gun convictions exactly a month to the day he was killed, state records show.