2 Chicago police officers, suspect wounded in West Side shootout
The shooting happened at 2:33 a.m. Sunday in the 3300 block of West Polk Street after police pulled over a vehicle that matched a description for an earlier call about a person driving around with a gun.
Two Chicago cops were shot and the suspected gunman was wounded by police early Sunday after a traffic stop in the Homan Square neighborhood on the West Side.
The shooting happened at 2:33 a.m. in the 3300 block of West Polk Street after officers pulled over a vehicle that matched a description for an earlier call about a person driving around with a gun, according to Chicago police.
Speaking outside the emergency room at Stroger Hospital — where both officers were being treated — police Supt. David Brown said the officers spotted a gun in the vehicle during the stop.
They broke the windows after the suspect, who appeared to have moved from the front seat to the back seat, refused to get out.
A struggle ensued and the suspect shot both officers, Brown said. A third officer arrived and returned fire, hitting the suspect, the superintendent said.
Brown said the injured officers were “wearing body cams” and that the shooting is “being reviewed.” Both are men in their early 20s who have been on the job for about two years.
They are part of the department’s summer mobile patrol unit, a group of 200-plus officers Brown assembled in May to address crime “hot spots” citywide.
One officer was shot twice on the left side and was in serious condition, Stroger Hospital Dr. Hadyn Hollister said. He underwent surgery for lung and abdominal injuries, and was still in hospital care Sunday evening, police said.
The other officer suffered a gunshot wound to his left shoulder and was in good condition, Hollister said. He was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon.
The suspect was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood in fair condition. Authorities expect all three to survive.
Civilian Office of Police Accountability spokesman Ephraim Eaddy said the agency is investigating the shooting, which is standard practice in any case where officers shoot anybody. The officers involved will be placed on administrative duties for 30 days, police said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Brown early Sunday in addressing the news media as other officers gathered outside the hospital. She praised the officers’ supervisor for getting on the scene quickly and driving them to Stroger.
“Their supervisor brought them here and probably saved their lives,” Lightfoot said.
In a tweet Sunday morning, police spokesman Tom Ahern said a weapon was recovered at the scene and posted a photo of a handgun with an extended magazine.
Lightfoot said the incident is evidence that “defunding” the police department would be a bad idea. Calls to slash funding for law enforcement have been amplified amid a nationwide reckoning over race prompted by the May killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a police officer pressed a knee on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The most recent flashpoint happened last Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where police shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake in the back as he tried to get in a car that contained three of his children. Blake, who is also Black, is expected to survive but is paralyzed from the waist down.
“Now, there are some who would say we don’t need the police, and safety can be accomplished through other means,” Lightfoot said.
“And I know having been around law enforcement for a very long time and been around the heroic men and women of the Chicago Police Department, the only people who are qualified based upon their training, supervision and courage to respond to a person with a gun — to respond when our residents are in danger — the only people qualified to do that are the police.
“So we should have that discussion” about police reform, Lightfoot continued, “but let’s be clear-eyed about what the dangers are that not only exist for our residents — but also for law enforcement.”
Later Sunday morning, the activist group Good Kids Mad City compared Chicago’s police force to a street gang following the shootout.
“The only difference between them & gang is that CPD has the entire criminal legal system behind them,” said Good Kids Mad City, which has helped lead the push to defund the city’s police department.
“We shoot, we get killed or jail time,” the group added. “They shoot & get paid desk duty!”
Earlier this month, police said another officer-involved shootout in Englewood prompted massive looting in the downtown area.
On Aug. 9, 20-year-old Latrell Allen allegedly opened fire on officers as they chased him through an alley in the 5700 block of South Racine, police said. The officers then returned fire and struck Allen, who was later charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon.
The shooting gave way to an hourslong standoff between police and neighborhood residents. Though police said a gun was recovered at the scene, Allen’s brother disputed the official narrative and denied his brother shot at the cops. Unlike with Sunday’s shooting, those officers weren’t equipped with body cameras.
Sunday’s exchange of gunfire marks the third time police officers have been shot in Chicago in recent weeks.
Less than a week before that, a detainee who allegedly concealed a gun during transport to a Northwest Side police station opened fire and wounded three officers. Lovelle Jordan, in turn, was shot multiple times at the 25th District police station, 5555 W. Grand Ave., police said. Jordan, 25, faces six counts of attempted murder.
And on Saturday morning, a cop was hit by a stolen vehicle in Hyde Park, authorities said. That officer fired his weapon, but no one was hit.