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Oak Park police officer, driver wounded in shootout during traffic stop

Both are hospitalized with serious injuries but expected to survive.

Authorities investigate on Harlem Avenue over I-290 after an Oak Park police officer was involved in a shooting, Thursday morning, April 8, 2021
Authorities investigate on Harlem Avenue over I-290 after an Oak Park police officer was involved in a shooting, Thursday morning, April 8, 2021
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

A driver opened fire during a traffic stop Thursday morning, wounding an Oak Park police officer before being shot in return.

Both were hospitalized with serious injuries but are expected to survive, according to Oak Park spokesman David Powers.

The shooting started about 7 a.m., after the driver was pulled over on the Harlem Avenue bridge over the Eisenhower Expressway, Powers said in an email.

Illinois State Police investigates on Harlem Avenue over I-290 after an Oak Park police officer was involved in a shooting, Thursday morning, April 8, 2021.
Illinois State Police investigates on Harlem Avenue over I-290 after an Oak Park police officer was involved in a shooting, Thursday morning, April 8, 2021.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Preliminary information showed the driver of the vehicle exited and began firing, Powers said. The Oak Park officer then shot the driver, he said.

Both the officer and the driver were taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Powers said.

A witness told ABC7 that the driver got out of the car with his hands in the air and “just went in his waist ... he got a gun and just started dumping. Shot the police window out, shot the police and everything.”

The wounded officer was able to walk to an ambulance with an apparent gunshot wound to the arm, the witness told ABC7.

Authorities investigate on Harlem Avenue over I-290 after an Oak Park police officer was involved in a shooting, Thursday morning, April 8, 2021.
Authorities investigate on Harlem Avenue over I-290 after an Oak Park police officer was involved in a shooting.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Illinois State Police said they were investigating the officer’s use of force. In a statement Thursday afternoon, state police said the driver’s condition had stabilized, while the officer was in “serious but stable” condition.

A United States Postal Service employee and vehicle were in the area of the shooting, but the employee was not wounded and was not the intended target, according to a statement from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

State police closed exit and entrance ramps to the expressway at Harlem Avenue until noon as authorities investigated the shooting.