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88-year-old man promised a pregnant prostitute $20 — then shot her over it, Chicago prosecutors say

An 88-year-old Chicago, Illinois, man has been charged with felony aggravated battery after police say he shot a pregnant prostitute during a fight over $20.
An 88-year-old Chicago, Illinois, man has been charged with felony aggravated battery after police say he shot a pregnant prostitute during a fight over $20. Chicago Police Department

The spat was over $20 — and it quickly became violent, Chicago prosecutors said.

It started when a 22-year-old prostitute demanded that her 88-year-old client show her the $20 he’d promised before she would follow through on sexual favors, according to Cook County prosecutors. “You’ll see what happens” if you don’t, the woman allegedly threatened during the Tuesday afternoon encounter, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

That’s when the 88-year-old man, Gene Sanderlin, allegedly made a threat of his own.

“No, you will see what happens,” Sanderlin told the woman, according to prosecutors. And then he pulled a revolver from beneath a pillow on his bed, the newspaper reports.

Sanderlin shot the woman, prosecutors said. The bullet entered her left thigh, but became lodged in her right leg, the Chicago Tribune reports. The victim was three months pregnant at the time.

The woman fled to a neighboring house, WLS reports reports. There she called for help, and was taken to the hospital where her condition was stable.

Sanderlin, however, barricaded himself as officers arrived — leading to a 6-hour stand-off with police and SWAT officers, according to the Sun-Times. Sanderlin finally came out of the house and was arrested just before 9 p.m.

Sanderlin has been charged with felony aggravated battery with a firearm, WLS reports. He suffers from dementia, police said.

During a court hearing Thursday, Sanderlin’s bail was set at $30,000, the Sun-Times reports. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 27.

Prosecutors said the pair arranged the transaction as Sanderlin was leaving a grocery store by his home. From there, Sanderlin and the woman went to Sanderlin’s home, where prosecutors said Sanderlin started to touch the woman’s chest, the Tribune reports.

But the woman said she wanted to see the money first, prosecutors said. Then Sanderlin tried to kick her out of the house, ultimately leading to the shooting, the newspaper reports.

After he surrendered, Sanderlin was also taken to the hospital by ambulance. As of Thursday he was still hospitalized due to a neurological disorder, the Sun-Times reports. He did not appear in person at his hearing Thursday.

Sanderlin had a valid firearm owner’s identification card, the Sun-Times reports.

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