A Walgreens security guard who allegedly shot a man in the Loop during a dispute over a gift card purchase has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Anthony Silas, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery by discharging a firearm in a plea deal that resulted in prosecutors dropping five counts of attempted murder and seven other felonies, according to court records.
Silas was working as a security guard at the 2 North State Street store on the evening of July 11, 2020, but prosecutors said he was not licensed to carry a firearm.
During his shift, a 25-year-old man Silas knew from high school entered the store to buy a gift card.
When the victim didn’t have enough money to buy the gift card, he asked Silas for some cash to help him make the purchase. Silas agreed to help. But the victim had trouble getting money from an account to repay Silas and walked out of the store, prosecutors said in a bail hearing three days later.
Silas followed him, demanding his money back, and ordering the victim to give him collateral for the loan, according to prosecutors. Increasingly angered, Silas pulled his gun out of its holster, pointed it at the victim from under his vest, and repeatedly said, “someone gonna die today,” according to the allegations.
Fearing that he may get shot, the victim gave Silas his earrings, a shopping bag containing merchandise, and his phone. Silas then ordered the victim to unlock the phone while pointing his gun at the victim’s back, prosecutors said.
Silas threatened the victim several more times, then shot the victim in his right hip, Murphy said. Silas then fled into a nearby Red Line subway entrance.
Police found Silas a few minutes later as he ran through the Chicago-State Red Line station. He was wearing an empty holster and a vest with the word “security” on it. A gun was found in his waistband, and he was carrying the victim’s phone and shopping bag, prosecutors said.
A defense attorney disputed prosecutors’ allegations and blamed Walgreens for putting Silas “in a position he’s not qualified for.” He said Silas’ supervisor ordered Silas to remove the victim and another person because they were pulling a scam on the store, and the victim later “lunged” at Silas.
Judge Thomas Byrne oversaw the case and sentenced Silas. Illinois Department of Corrections records indicate Silas will be paroled on August 8, 2025.