Chicago police officer shot answering call of domestic disturbance in Little Italy. ‘They were ambushed,’ top cop says
The officer was shot as he and a partner were getting out of an elevator in a housing complex in the 1300 block of West Taylor Street Friday morning.
A Chicago police officer was “ambushed” and shot as he stepped off an elevator while answering a call of a domestic disturbance in Little Italy Friday morning, the city’s top cop said.
The officer was driven to Stroger Hospital, about a mile away, by a police officer from the University of Illinois at Chicago who had also responded to the scene, according to Police Supt. David Brown.
He suffered “multiple gunshot wounds” and was undergoing surgery, but was alert and talking, Brown said. Police said his condition was “serious but stable.”
Officers had been sent to the 1300 block of West Taylor Street for a domestic call around 8:30 a.m. A dispatcher told them that a 911 caller’s “daughter is texting her that the live-in boyfriend beat her up. The offender is known to carry a gun.”
The officers were getting out of an elevator when a gunman opened fire and hit one of them, police said.
“Shots fired! shots fired! Officer down!” an officer called in.
“We’ve got an active shooter over here,” another officer said over the radio.
A dispatcher radioed other officers in the area, “We’ve got an officer down. They’re asking for an ambulance. “Also, there’s a domestic battery there. They responded to a domestic battery there and now there’s a 10-1,” or a call for an officer in danger.
The officers did not return fire but went back to the ground floor, where the UIC officer drove the wounded officer to Stroger. He is a 15-year veteran of the force.
Asked whether the officers had followed procedures for safely approaching the suspect, Brown said the officers were fired on the moment they stepped out of the elevator.
“They were ambushed. This wasn’t a matter of police tactics,” Brown said. “They were ambushed, clearly. The offender had intentions to harm them,... the best laid plans don’t account for being ambushed by someone who’s intending to harm you as soon as you get off an elevator.”
Minutes after the shooting, over a dozen officers converged on a man seeing lying shirtless on the ground with his hands on his head, according to video from the scene. He was taken into custody and a gun was recovered, Brown said.
Brown said he was a “convicted felon” who suffered an injury to his wrist. Brown gave no other details.
Brown said Friday afternoon that there was video of the shooting and that charges were still pending against the alleged gunman.
“We want to get this right,” Brown said.
The shooting happened hours after a mass shooting in the Loop wounded five people, two of them fatally, outside a fire station. Police said the shooting was sparked by an argument.
At least three other police officers have been shot in Chicago in the last month.
On June 1, a Chicago police officer was shot while trying to pull over a driver in Englewood.
On June 2, a U.S. marshal and his K-9 dog were shot while serving an arrest warrant on the Northwest Side.
On June 5, a Chicago cop was seriously wounded when a traffic stop in Englewood devolved into a firefight that also left a gunman critically hurt.
“It hasn’t been more dangerous (for police officers) in decades,” Brown said. “It also highlights the bravery and courage that our officers exhibit every day.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago has seen an “significant surge” in domestic violence calls over the last two years. Domestic-related fatal shootings have increased 125% over the last two years, the mayor said. Nonfatal shootings have increased 80% over the same period, she said.
“I think this brings a sobering context to what our officers experience every day,” she said.