2 Chicago police officers shot on the West Side after gunman drops weapon in front of them, then opens fire

“I got shot in the head, I got shot in the head,” one of the wounded officers radioed.

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Chicago police investigate a shooting that wounded two officers in the 3800 block of West Harrison Street early Friday.

Chicago police investigate a shooting that wounded two officers in the 3800 block of West Harrison Street early Friday.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Two Chicago police officers were shot early Friday on the West Side after a gunman accidentally dropped his weapon in front of them, picked it up and started firing, authorities said.

One of the officers was grazed in the face and the other wounded in the leg, police said. They went to Mount Sinai Hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

One officer was released within hours and was recovering at home, while the other officer was expected to be hospitalized for “a few days,” Police Supt. David Brown told reporters Friday morning.

The shooting happened around 3:30 a.m. at the Original Maxwell Street hot dog stand in the 3800 block of West Harrison Street as the gunman and one of the officers waited in line, Brown said.

“The offender had ordered his food and was in line in front of the officer,” Brown said. “The offender reached in his pocket to pay for his order, a gun fell out of the offender’s waistband.

“The officer noticed the gun falling out, but before they could take action, the offender grabbed the gun, picked it up and began immediately shooting at the officers,” Brown said.

One of the wounded officers radioed, “I got shot in the head, I got shot in the head. Dropped an extended clip right in front of me, picked it up, shot me, graze wound in the right side of my head and my partner was shot in the leg.”

The partner had been sitting in the squad car when the gunman fired at least three times into the car, Brown said. Neither officer returned fire.

The gunman ran off but was spotted by an undercover officer who had heard the shots. He and other officers chased the suspect through alleys and took someone into custody in the 200 block of South Pulaski Road, about half a mile away, police said.

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“They (the wounded officers) were really ambushed,” Brown said. “When the offender dropped the gun, before they could react, he began shooting, so they had no time to react. They were wounded and the offender fled, and thank God for that undercover officer nearby and officers were running around after this offender before he could escape.”

Brown said a gun was found nearby. “We’ve retrieved a gun and detectives are on scene getting as much information, video and witness information as we can,” he said.

“May the good Lord bless the men and women of the Chicago Police Department. They work tirelessly to risk everything for all of our safety,” Brown added. “We should give them a real big ‘thank you’ this morning and please, prayers for them and their families as they go through this process.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot noted in a statement that Friday’s shooting bring to four the number of Chicago police officers who have been shot at or shot this year. “Seventy-six CPD officers (were) shot or shot at in 2021,” she said.

“To the officers who woke up today to this unnerving news and proceeded to put on their uniforms and report for duty: your heroism cannot be overstated, and your city owes you a tremendous debt of gratitude,” the mayor added.

Police expect to charge the suspect with attempted murder of a police officer in the next 48 hours, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan told reporters.

The officers will be placed on routine administrative duties for 30 days, officials said in a statement.

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