CPD STA­TION SHOOTOUT

Car­jack­ing sus­pect who was in po­lice cus­tody opens fire out­side North­west Side fa­cil­ity, wound­ing 3 of­fi­cers; pris­oner also shot

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY FRANK MAIN, DAVID STRUETT, MANNY RAMOS, SAM CHARLES AND MITCHELL AR­MEN­TROUT Staff Re­porters

A car­jack­ing sus­pect be­ing trans­ported in a po­lice ve­hi­cle to the 25th Dis­trict po­lice sta­tion at Grand and Cen­tral opened fire Thurs­day morn­ing in the sta­tion’s pris­oner load­ing bay, wound­ing three of­fi­cers, one se­ri­ously, sources said.

The pris­oner, in turn, was shot mul­ti­ple times at the po­lice sta­tion, 5555 W. Grand Ave., sources said.

One of­fi­cer was in se­ri­ous con­di­tion af­ter be­ing shot in the chin. He was taken to Illi­nois Ma­sonic Med­i­cal Cen­ter, CPD Supt. David Brown told re­porters out­side that hospi­tal.

Two of­fi­cers suf­fered less se­ri­ous wounds. One was shot in his pro­tec­tive vest, but the bul­let didn’t pen­e­trate; the other of­fi­cer was wounded in the hip. They were taken to Loy­ola Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter in May­wood, Brown said. Two other of­fi­cers were taken to that hospi­tal for chest pains, Brown added.

The pris­oner’s con­di­tion was un­known; he was taken to Stroger Hospi­tal.

It’s un­clear how the pris­oner had a gun be­cause he should have been searched be­fore he was placed in the po­lice ve­hi­cle. That ques­tion is cer­tain to be a fo­cus of the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The pris­oner be­gan shoot­ing in the sta­tion’s sally port, a se­cure in­te­rior area where pris­on­ers are moved from po­lice ve­hi­cles into the sta­tion, ac­cord­ing to a po­lice source.

The pris­oner may have man­aged to move his hand­cuffs from be­hind his back to his front be­fore he started shoot­ing, a source said.

Po­lice sources said the shooter is a 25-year-old felon paroled just three months ago. He’s been sen­tenced to prison four times, ac­cord­ing to court records. He’s been con­victed of il­le­gal gun pos­ses­sion by a felon and ag­gra­vated as­sault with a ve­hi­cle. He also has two felony drug con­vic­tions.

Brown said the shoot­ing hap­pened about 9:40 a.m. Po­lice had taken the shooter into cus­tody af­ter iden­ti­fy­ing a ve­hi­cle wanted in con­nec­tion with a June 26 car­jack­ing down­town. They pulled the car over and made the ar­rest, Brown said.

The of­fi­cer who was re­ported to be in se­ri­ous con­di­tion is a 17-year CPD vet­eran cur­rently as­signed to the 25th Dis­trict.

“I ask ev­ery­one in our city to join me in pray­ing for the Chicago po­lice of­fi­cers shot and in­jured this morn­ing in the line of duty,” Mayor Lori Light­foot tweeted Thurs­day.

“To­day is a sear­ing re­minder of the dan­ger our men and women of our po­lice depart­ment face ev­ery day they put on their uni­forms and leave their homes. This is the sac­ri­fice they make in or­der to serve and pro­tect our city and fel­low res­i­dents.”

Within an hour of the shoot­ing, about two dozen CPD squad cars were parked along Grand Av­enue, which was closed to other traf­fic.

Of­fi­cers con­gre­gated near the shoot­ing scene, taped off be­hind the po­lice sta­tion.

Ev­i­dence tech­ni­cians placed dozens of or­ange mark­ers around two Chicago po­lice SUVs parked be­hind the sta­tion, sit­u­ated be­tween an in­dus­trial cor­ri­dor and a Han­son

Park ball field across the street.

A Bel­mont Cra­gin res­i­dent said she was walk­ing her dog on the north end of the park across the street when she heard dozens of gun­shots.

“It sounded like fire­works, but then I re­al­ized it must be a bunch of guns,” said the woman, who de­clined to give her name.

Po­lice ve­hi­cles pe­ri­od­i­cally pulled up and left the sta­tion as dozens of of­fi­cers milled about the scene, in­clud­ing some from the Cook County sher­iff ’s of­fice.

On­look­ers gawked from across the street for a few hours af­ter the shoot­ing. One per­plexed man made phone calls try­ing to fig­ure out if his court hear­ing, sched­uled for Thurs­day morn­ing at the mis­de­meanor court branch within the sta­tion, was still on.

“It’s pretty chaotic. I don’t know what I’m sup­posed to do,” said the man, who didn’t want to share his name.

Luis Coss heard gun­fire erupt as he was pass­ing the sta­tion while rid­ing his bi­cy­cle east on Grand on his way to Hum­boldt Park.

“It was all a com­mo­tion, cops rac­ing out­side. I was scared. I turned around,” Coss said, watch­ing po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors at work a few hours af­ter the chaos.

“I ride through here most days to avoid the traf­fic. It’s scary to see,” he said.

An­other res­i­dent also had lis­tened as the in­ci­dent un­folded.

“I heard the gun­shots go off and I thought to my­self it’s way too early for the gangs to be shoot­ing at each other,” said the man, who did not want to pro­vide his name.

“Then I could hear the po­lice sirens rac­ing down the street, then the am­bu­lance.”

He soon went out­side to see what was hap­pen­ing.

“This is not the safest neigh­bor­hood in the city,” he said, “but a po­lice of­fi­cer get­ting shot in the morn­ing like this is not nor­mal.”

ASHLEE REZIN GAR­CIA/SUN-TIMES

Chicago po­lice in­ves­ti­gate out­side the 25th Dis­trict sta­tion, 5555 W. Grand Ave., where three of­fi­cers were shot Thurs­day by a car­jack­ing sus­pect that po­lice had in cus­tody. The sus­pect also was shot mul­ti­ple times in the in­ci­dent.

ASHLEE REZIN GAR­CIA/SUN-TIMES

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate at the 25th Dis­trict sta­tion, 5555 W. Grand Ave., af­ter mul­ti­ple of­fi­cers were shot Thurs­day out­side the sta­tion. The sus­pect also was shot mul­ti­ple times in the in­ci­dent.

PAT NABONG/SUN-TIMES

Po­lice gather out­side Illi­nois Ma­sonic Med­i­cal Cen­ter, where an of­fi­cer in se­ri­ous con­di­tion was brought af­ter Thurs­day’s in­ci­dent.

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