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3 CPD officers shot in Homan Square neighborhood

Chicago Police officers at the scene where three officers were shot on March 14. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

Three Chicago Police officers were shot during a drug investigation Monday night on the West Side, authorities said.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said none of the officers had life-threatening injuries.

Shortly before 10 p.m., four officers were investigating suspected narcotics sales in the 3700 block of South Polk in the Homan Square neighborhood and saw a man and woman in a “known drug area,” Guglielmi said.

The man ran into a dark gangway and officers chased him. When they tried to stop him, the man turned around and opened fire “immediately” on the officers, striking three of them, Interim Supt. John Escalante said.

At least one officer returned fire and killed the man, Guglielmi said. Police said they recovered the handgun the assailant used to shoot the officers and the woman was in custody.

The injured officers have 10 to 12 years of experience, Escalante said late Monday at a press conference at Stroger Hospital, where the officers were being treated. They suffered “lower body injuries,” he said.

As of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said two of the three wounded officers had been released from the hospital. All three are are tactical officers who work in the Harrison District on the West Side.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Escalante visited the hospital Monday night.

In an emailed statement late Monday, Emanuel said: “Every day the dedicated men and women of the Chicago Police Department put themselves in danger so the rest of us can be safe. Tonight we were reminded of the dangers that our police face, and the bravery that they routinely display as three of our officers were shot in line of duty. The thoughts and prayers of our entire city are with the officers and their families during this difficult time.”

A statement from Chicago Police early Tuesday said the incident is “being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority with the full cooperation of the CPD.”

The officers will be on routine administrative duties for 30 days, under a new policy that Escalante implemented to “ensure separation from field duties while training and fitness for duty requirements can be conducted. Going forward, this will be standard protocol following all officer-involved shootings.”

The shooting happened just a few blocks west of the police department’s organized crime headquarters. On Aug. 11, a 21-year-old man was shot and wounded on the same block, records show.

In 2015, there also were reports of a gun arrest, a burglary and an armed robbery on the block.

The last duty-related death of a Chicago Police officer happened on Dec. 29, 2011, when masked men robbed a West Side convenience store and shot Officer Clifton Lewis, an eight-year veteran moonlighting as a security guard.

A woman who lives on the same block where the shootings occurred said she was watching TV when she heard about 15 gunshots. The woman, who didn’t want her name used, said she dropped to the floor and turned off the lights when she heard the gunfire. A short while later, she heard wailing sirens.

“It was a sea of blue lights,” she said.

She said she saw three ambulances leave the scene.

The woman said that while gunshots aren’t uncommon in the neighborhood, it had been “fairly quiet,” in recent months.

Chicago Police officers at the corner of Polk and Independence near the scene of the shooting of three officers. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times
Chicago Police officers at the corner of Polk and Independence near the scene of the shooting of three officers. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times
Chicago Police officers at the scene of the shootings. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times
Chicago Police officers at the scene of the shootings. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times
Chicago Police at the scene where three officers were shot Monday night. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times
Chicago Police at the scene where three officers were shot Monday night. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times