Off-duty cop shot home intruder in face while wife shielded baby in Albany Park: prosecutor

The officer shot the man in his face Monday as the man allegedly broke into the officer’s home on Belle Plaine Avenue.

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An Albany Park woman shielded her baby while the child’s father, an off-duty Chicago police officer, confronted and shot an intruder at the front door, Cook County prosecutors said Friday.

When Jose Mendoza began fiddling with the front door knob around 12:30 a.m. Monday, the couple — hearing the noise — muted the television as they sat in the living room with their 21-month-old daughter, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

The wife shielded the baby while her husband retrieved a gun and went to the front door, Murphy said. The officer cracked the door open, peeked outside and allegedly saw Mendoza, 32, crouched nearby.

The officer told Mendoza to leave, but he refused and tried to enter the home, Murphy said. That’s when the officer fired his gun once, striking Medonza through his cheek.

Mendoza fell down in the inside hallway of the home, in the 3100 block of Belle Plaine Avenue, Murphy said.

Responding officers took Mendoza into custody. Mendoza remained in the intensive care unit at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, an officer said in court Friday.

The off-duty officer was taken to a hospital for chest pains and later released, Murphy said.

Area Five detectives and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability are investigating the incident, police said.

Mendoza has multiple arrest warrants and a pending DUI case in Rolling Meadows, prosecutors said.

Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Mendoza held on $1 million bail, for burglary, home invasion and criminal trespass.

If he is able to post bond, Ortiz recommended Mendoza, of Elk Grove Village, to be placed on electronic monitoring while he awaits trial.

Mendoza’s case is back in court on April 9.

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.

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