A concealed-carry license holder killed in a shootout during an attempted robbery this weekend at a Roseland barbershop was a dedicated businessman and a “really good-hearted guy,” according to a longtime friend.
Franklin Jones said he met Derrick Gholston when they were just kids growing up in the West Pullman neighborhood. Gholston, 42, was “one of those people who was always around when anything positive was happening,” according to Jones.
“If he saw something bad going down and he felt like he could help prevent it or end it, he would definitely put himself into it,” Jones said.
That appears to be what happened Saturday when Gholston was drawn into a gun battle after two robbers held him up and then targeted the barbershop.
About 7:15 p.m., he was standing outside the Crispy Cuts barbershop, 31 E. 112th Place, when the male robbers walked up to him, flashed a gun and demanded his property, according to Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. After Gholston handed over his belongings, the suspects walked into the shop and announced another robbery.
That’s when Gholston confronted the robbers with his own weapon and a gun battle ensued. Gholston and one of the suspected robbers, 18-year-old Carlos Smith, were struck and taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where they were both pronounced dead within an hour, authorities said.
A 51-year-old man was also shot during the exchange of gunfire, police said. The other suspected robber fled the scene and hasn’t been taken into custody.
Jones said Gholston was an “easygoing guy” over their more than three decades of friendship. Recently, the longtime buddies played together on the same softball team and often hung out together after their Sunday games, Jones said.
Gholston, a father of two young boys, owned and operated a food truck that specialized in jerk chicken, according to Jones, who said his friend often carried a handgun because “he dealt with a lot of cash.”
“His sole purpose for carrying the pistol was for his own protection,” he added.
Jones noted that Gholston was quick to help others out, so it didn’t surprise him that Gholston confronted the duo who robbed him.
Saturday’s shootout happened near a busy shopping corridor and across the street from Ald. Anthony Beale’s 9th Ward aldermanic office. Reached Sunday, Beale blamed the violence on the “oversaturation of guns plaguing our city.”
“This just goes to show that we still have a love affair with guns in the city of Chicago that we need to get a handle on,” he added.
While Beale claimed that crime has dropped in his ward as more jobs have been added, he said it’s nevertheless “unfortunate” that anyone is “succumbing to gun violence.”