Chicago cop fatally shoots bank robbery suspect in Archer Heights

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Authorities search the scene where a Chicago cop fatally shot a bank robbery suspect. | Brian Jackson/For Chicago Sun-Times

A Chicago cop fatally shot a bank robbery suspect after a chase that ended in the backyard of a Southwest Side home Monday morning in the Archer Heights neighborhood.

The man allegedly robbed a branch of Byline Bank at 4970 S. Archer Ave. at about 10:30 a.m.

“Eighth district officers responded to a holdup alarm,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said at a news conference near the scene of the shooting.

“As they responded a security officer from the bank was in pursuit of a suspect to a just-committed armed robbery at the Byline Bank. A short foot pursuit ensued. The officers chased the subject down a gangway at which time the subject turned towards the officers with a weapon. One of the officers discharged his weapon, striking the offender.”

Michael D. Johnson of the 5500 block of West 63rd Place was pronounced dead at 11:37 a.m. at Mt. Sinai Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy showed he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

FBI agents are investigating the robbery, and IPRA is investigating whether the use of deadly force was justified, Johnson said. Police said they recovered a gun at the scene.

Johnson added that the man is suspected of robbing a different branch of the same bank on Saturday at 63rd and Austin. Johnson said the suspect matched the description of the previous bank robber, including a pair of “distinctive shoes.”

Edwards Elementary School, located about a block from the shooting, went into lockdown during the incident.

As the shooting unfolded in the backyard, a husband and wife were inside the home.

The wife, who asked not to be named, was in the shower and did not hear gunshots. “My husband told me when I got out. He said he was on the computer and heard two shots,” she said.

She looked out the window and saw a man she did not recognize lying in her yard with two gunshot wounds to his chest. A bag with shoulder straps lay next to his body.

A neighbor across the alley heard gunshots and checked on his girlfriend and son before walking into the alley to see what had happened.

“I asked one of the police officers if everything was OK, and he seemed kind of shaken up and said ‘Everything should be OK now,'” the neighbor said.

Also at the news conference, Johnson called for stiffer gun sentencing laws to get violent people off the street.

“This past weekend the violence that we saw was completely unacceptable. But it highlights the uphill battle we face in Chicago,” he said.

Eight people — including a 16-year-old boy— were killed and at least 39 other people were wounded in shootings across Chicago over Mother’s Day weekend.

“This past weekend 78% of our murder victims and 84% of the non-fatal shooting victims are on our strategic subject list,” Johnson said in frustration.

“That means, essentially, we know who they are. Often times, they have gang affiliations. And many have had previous arrests and convictions,” he said.

The gun violence “is being driven by about 1,300 individuals who we already know,” Johnson said.

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