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2 Chicago cops shot in Lawndale, suspect wounded

The officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert about 7:20 a.m. in the 1400 block of South Lawndale Avenue and saw a person in a vacant alley nearby, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown told reporters outside Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Chicago police Supt. David Brown and Mayor Lightfoot speak to reporters outside Mt. Sinai Hospital after two officers were shot May 16, 2021, in Lawndale.
Chicago police Supt. David Brown and Mayor Lightfoot speak to reporters outside Mt. Sinai Hospital after two officers were shot May 16, 2021, in Lawndale.
Sophie Sherry/Sun-Times

Two Chicago police officers were shot and the suspected gunman was wounded during an exchange of gunfire Sunday morning in Lawndale on the West Side.

The officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert about 7:20 a.m. in the 1400 block of South Lawndale Avenue and saw a 45-year-old man in a vacant alley nearby, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown reported during news briefings outside Mount Sinai Hospital, where the officers were treated and released.

When the officers approached, the person “immediately began firing a gun at the officers,” Brown said during a news conference alongside Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

One officer was struck in the hand and the second in the leg and shoulder, above the vest, Brown said. Both were “stable, recovering and in good condition,” he added.

Later in the morning, dozens of officers gathered outside Mount Sinai and saluted the two wounded cops shortly after they were discharged. Brown said both wounded officers began working for the police department in 2017 and were expected to fully recover.

Members of the police department salute the two wounded officers after they were discharged from Mt. Sinai, May 16, 2021.
Members of the police department salute the two wounded officers after they were discharged from Mt. Sinai, May 16, 2021.
Tom Schuba/Sun-Times

The suspected gunman was also shot in the “lower extremities,” according to Brown, who described him to reporters as a convicted felon. Police spokesman Tom Ahern said the alleged shooter was being treated at Stroger Hospital.

Ahern also shared a photo on Twitter of a gun allegedly recovered from the scene.

“Let’s be clear, this offender turned and immediately tried to kill these officers by firing a gun at them, hitting both of them,” Brown said. “But for the good Lord’s grace that we’re not here talking about planning a funeral for our officers.”

Brown said the officers were in full uniform and did not engage in a foot pursuit with the suspect before the shooting, though he couldn’t say whether the incident was captured on their body-worn cameras.

The shooting is being investigated by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the independent city agency charged with probing police shootings.

Chicago police investigate the scene where two officers were shot May 16, 2021, in Lawndale.
Chicago police investigate the scene where two officers were shot May 16, 2021, in Lawndale.
Anthony Vasquez/Sun-Times

Mayor Lightfoot told reporters the incident “underscores the danger that our men and women in the police department face every single day” and called for an end to the “flow of illegal guns into our city.”

“Let’s pray for peace in our city,” Lightfoot said. “We’ve got to put these guns down.”

The officers are the fifth and sixth Chicago cops shot in the last two months.

Chicago police investigate the scene where two officers were shot May 16, 2021, in Lawndale.
Chicago police investigate the scene where two officers were shot May 16, 2021, in Lawndale.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

On March 25, an alleged shoplifter shot a security guard at a Home Depot on the South Side before shooting an officer in the shoulder. The suspect died in a shootout with other officers nearby, police said.

Five days earlier, an officer was shot in her hand during a SWAT standoff in the Austin neighborhood by a man who allegedly wanted to “lure” cops to the area. On March 15, an off-duty officer was ambushed by two gunman while stopped in traffic in the Calumet Heights neighborhood.

And a day before that, an on-duty CPD sergeant was shot while standing in the parking lot of the Gresham District police station, at 7808 S. Halsted St. The bullet grazed his chin, and he was released from a hospital later that day.

After the wounded cops left the hospital, Brown briefly spoke to the officers who gathered there to salute them.

“We had a blessing just now. ... This is a hyper-critical time for police officers in this country, and we want to just continue to keep them encouraged,” he said.

A “silent majority” of Chicagoans “fully support” the city’s cops, Brown added before pressing residents to “speak up” and show it.

“Our officers need you to be more vocal,” Brown said. “They need to be encouraged to continue to run toward danger to protect the people of Chicago.”