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Off-duty police officer shot, seriously wounded in Greater Grand Crossing

An off-duty police officer was in “serious but stable” condition after he was shot during a possible attempted robbery early Friday in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side.

About 12:50 a.m., the 41-year-old officer was sitting in his car near the 7400 block of South Langley when he was approached by three men, Chicago Police Department First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger said in a briefing.

The officer, “sensing something was wrong,” began to drive away when he was shot once in the chest, Wysinger said. He was shot in his chest; the bullet passed entirely through his body, police said.

Felicia Warner, a cousin of the wounded officer, said he is doing well and with his fiancee at the hospital.

“He said that God wasn’t ready for him, that (God) had another plan,” Warner said.

Warner said her cousin is in some pain from the bullet that “just missed his heart.”

The officer said he became suspicious when he noticed he was being followed, after he left a bar close to where he was shot, Warner said.

“He felt something was wrong,” Warner said. “He just jumped in the car.”

Soon after, the gunshots came, she said.

The shooting happened about a block and a half away from the President’s Lounge, said bar owner Melvin Brooks.

The officer who was shot was a regular at the bar, Brooks said.

“He is a friend of the establishment,” Brooks said. “He works that area as well.”

Brooks said there were no problems inside his establishment immediately prior to the shooting. He did not see the incident and has no idea who might want to harm the officer.

“I don’t think he was targeted,” Brooks said. It was “just random violence.”

Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said the officer drove away after two people tried to open his passenger door.

The officer continued driving until he flagged down a marked squad car and officers drove him to the University of Chicago Medical Center, Wysinger said.

Once the officer’s condition had stabilized, he was taken by ambulance to Mount Sinai Hospital, Wysinger said. He was “awake and alert” as of 3:15 a.m.

“He’s alert, he’s talking, he’s a very, very lucky officer at this point,” Wysinger said.

Marty Maloney, deputy director of police News Affairs, said the officer was listed in “serious but stable” condition.

The officer, an eight-year Chicago Police Department veteran, has received 22 departmental awards and is stationed in the 3rd District — the same one he was shot in — according to Wysinger and a police statement. Members of the officer’s family were also with him at the hospital early Friday.

Supt. Garry McCarthy — who normally speaks on officers injured — was out of town at a conference at the time of the shooting.

Police continued to investigate Friday morning. His assailants were not in custody and no detailed description was immediately available.