Nordstrom guards tackle, help disarm gunman in Mag Mile store

Phillip Smith was arrested at the Mag Mile Norstrom location. | CPD; Google

Two Nordstrom loss prevention officers tackled and helped police disarm a man who was holding a gun inside the retailer’s Magnificent Mile location last Tuesday evening, prosecutors said.

The store’s agents were watching as a known scam artist tried to purchase merchandise with a counterfeit $100 bill just before 8 p.m., according to police. But when the guards moved in to detain Phillip Smith for police, Smith pulled away and began to grab for his waistband to pull out a gun, according to court records.

Police said Nordstrom officers tackled Smith. Another employee ran and found a cop who joined the struggle inside the store at 55 East Grand. While the three men wrestled with Smith, the police officer pulled something from under Smith’s body: an ammunition magazine loaded with 22 rounds of .40-caliber bullets, he would later report.

One of the security guards then succeeded in prying the rest of a Glock semi-automatic from Smith’s left hand, police said. The cop was soon able to handcuff Smith and take him into custody.

Prosecutors charged the 34-year-old with felony unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and deceptive practice. Judge John Lyke ordered him held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Also last week, a security guard at the Palmer House chased down and detained a robbery suspect who tried to mug a tourist outside the landmark hotel.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is