Man who shot, paralyzed Police Officer Jim Mullen dies

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9-16-10 6740 N. Edgebrook Terr. Chicago, Illinois. Former Chicago Police Officer Jim Mullen, who was shot and now a paraplegic will be running for city alderman. Photo by Scott Stewart/Sun-Times

The elderly man who shot and paralyzed Chicago Police Officer Jim Mullen 15 years ago died in prison Thursday.

George Guirsch had no criminal record when he fired a .357 Magnum at Mullen and three other officers as they knocked on his door while investigating reports of gunfire in Rogers Park in 1996.

Mullen, then 32, was shot in the spine and cheek and was paralyzed below his chin, leaving him unable to breathe on his own. Guirsch, 61 at the time of the shooting, was serving a 100-year sentence.

“I have a lot of mixed emotions,” Mullen said about Guirsch’s death.

“I really hold no malice toward George. I never really have. He was someone who was disturbed, and you know, there are a lot of officers out there that risk their lives every day. It was just my turn, I guess.”

To Mullen, who remains paralyzed and attached to a tube to breathe, his family has been most affected by the tragedy.

“I really mostly feel bad for my family because they’re the ones that really have to live with this every day,” Mullen said.

The more important news of the day, Mullen said Thursday, was that his 15-year-old daughter came home from school with straight A’s.

“I’m going to live my life in a positive manner and conduct myself the same way I have over the last 16 years. And if I can, I’ll make a positive difference from this negative incident,” Mullen said.

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