A chilling video captured the moment a Chicago resident was robbed at gunpoint by a group of masked thugs in front of his home as his wife, kids, and other relatives slept inside.
Victor Galena Sr. was on his way to work at about 6 a.m. Friday in the Windy City’s Hermosa neighborhood when he and two companions were accosted by a group of robbers wearing black ski masks, CBS News Chicago reported.
“They started pointing a gun at my dad and [one of his companions] who was up here on those stairs,” the victim’s son Victor Galena Jr. told the news outlet.
The group had been counting the money that they planned to spend on construction tools that day when they were attacked by thugs.
Fearing that the men might try to enter his home, the father stayed in the doorway.
“In case they try to force their way in there, then he was going to fight back,” the son said, noting that Galena Sr.’s wife, five children, sister, and nephews were sleeping inside.
Galena Jr. said his unarmed dad was “definitely” a hero.
“He says he doesn’t feel like a hero. It was just mostly like a father’s instinct that kicked in,” Galena Jr. said.
“It’s the people that you look up to that you call right away when you need someone to defend you, and if they can’t defend you, then who are you going to call if you’re defenseless by yourself?” he added.
Police said the same group of brazen thieves later committed the same crime against at least 10 other people — part of a string of robberies in which they target residents leaving for or arriving at their jobs.
They also have been tied to at least 36 other robberies and carjackings, police said.
The suspects — who wore black ski masks, dark clothes, and blue gloves — remain at large.
The crime occurred a day after Mayor Brandon Johnson unveiled his plan to push for violence prevention and provide millions of dollars to youth outreach groups.
Chicago was then hit by a spate of shootings over the Memorial Day weekend, during which nine people were killed and at least 43 others injured.
A 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy, and a 17-year-old boy were among the bloody weekend’s non-fatal gunshot victims.
The previous weekend, 23 people were shot in Chicago, one fatally, according to authorities.
City and state leaders have touted the “peacekeeper” initiative, claiming its roughly 500 violence-prevention workers will help to quell rampant violence in the Windy City.
Officials have allocated $11 million to fund the campaign, offering $100 daily stipends to ex-gang members to help bring the mayhem under control.