Retired CPD deputy chief shot in South Chicago

SHARE Retired CPD deputy chief shot in South Chicago

Sun-Times stock photo

A 72-year-old retired Chicago deputy police chief was wounded early Wednesday morning when he was targeted by an alleged robber as he was leaving Eckersall Park in the South Chicago neighborhood.

Former Deputy Chief Fred Coffey returned fire, wounding the suspect. Coffey was hit in the arm.

Police said the 21-year-old suspect was wounded in his lower body. The suspect, who wasn’t identified, was arrested shortly after the shooting. He was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition had stabilized, police said.

Coffey was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized, police said. His son, who also is named Fred, said his father was resting Wednesday evening after he left the hospital. He said it was not clear whether his dad would make a full recovery.

“It’s difficult to tell if there’s nerve damage or not,” he said.

“He’s been walking [at the park] for years,” Coffey’s son said Wednesday evening. The elder Coffey, who retired 10 years ago, had never been shot during his years on the CPD, his son said.

The younger Coffey said he didn’t know if his father made a habit of carrying a gun when he went on his walks.

“All I know is, he was able to defend himself today,” he said. “It’s been a traumatic day.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson offered few details about the shooting.

“Gun offenders in Chicago do not discriminate,” Johnson said in a statement.

“Their reckless conduct and lack of respect puts families, public servants and anything that stands in their way at risk. Enough is Enough,” Johnson said.

“Retired Deputy Chief Coffey was a great police officer and public servant to the people of Chicago and I am glad he is okay. I will continue to fight hard for better laws to keep repeat offenders behind bars and I’m asking Chicago to help by giving CPD the tools to keep our community safe,” the statement said.

Contributing: Associated Press, Jordan Owen

The Latest
Seven people were taken to area hospitals after a crash Tuesday night that caused one car to roll over, officials said.
The holy month of Ramadan beings Wednesday evening, and observant Muslims will fast for 30 days from sunrise to sunset, seeking a deeper consciousness.
He built his family a beautiful home on the South Side of the city and co-founded a business that provided steady employment so others could do the same.
Steven Montano, 18, appeared in court Wednesday for the first time since he was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso on March 1.
Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman is calling for MLB to learn from the World Baseball Classic and grow the game.