Our Pledge To You

Crime

Cop shot in shoulder while executing warrant; 19-year-old woman charged

Chicago police on scene where a police officer was shot Saturday night in the 2700 block of West Potomac in the Humboldt Park Neighborhood. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A 19-year-old woman is facing charges after allegedly shooting a Chicago police officer in the shoulder Saturday night as he executed a search warrant for drugs and illegal weapons at a home in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side.

Emily Petronella was charged with felony counts of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault of a peace officer with a weapon, armed violence, aggravated discharge of a firearm and manufacture and delivery of over 5,000 grams of cannabis, according to Chicago police. She was also charged with a misdemeanor for a bail bond violation.

Emily Petronella | Chicago police

Officers with a 25th District tactical unit were serving a search warrant at 7:18 p.m. at the two-story home in the 2700 block of West Potomac when Petronella fired through a rear door, police said. The officer was struck in the shoulder and rushed to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said police had identified themselves while executing the warrant.

Petronella’s mother, Sandra Petronella, told the Sun-Times in an interview that her daughter called her on her cellphone frantic that someone was trying into break into their home.

Sandra Pertronella said: “She was hysterical. She called me while I was at the mall: ‘They’re breaking in. They’re breaking in.’ And then she hung up.”

The mother said she has not been able to talk to her daughter since Chicago police took her into custody.

Petronella has a FOID card, her mother said.

“She has a gun to protect herself. She’s allowed to protect herself,” according to Sandra Petronella, who said the family has lived on the block for about a decade.

Petronella and her mother live on the second floor of the building, while the young woman’s grandfather lives on the first floor. A neighbor said the family was quiet and didn’t create problems.

Sandra Petronella said she had no idea why the police would be searching the home.

However, Johnson said at a news conference that police knew Petronella, having had several encounters with her. At the time of the shooting, Petronella was free on $10,000 bond after being charged with a misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a weapon on Feb. 23, according to Cook County court records.

Petronella was the only one home when officers served the warrant for a “narcotics and illegal weapons search.”

During the search, officers uncovered a large amount of marijuana, a semiautomatic pistol and “large bundles” of cash, police said. Petronella was then arrested and later charged.

Officers did not fire their weapons during the encounter, authorities said.

The wounded police officer, who is 34 and has been on the force more than four years, was lucid, “in good spirits” and with his family, Johnson said. The officer spent about eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Petronella was ordered held without bail during a Sunday court hearing. Her next court date was set for Monday.