Screen grab off of YouTube video posted by WGN9 News on March 15, 2021.
Two Chicago Police Department officers were shot and wounded by gunfire in incidents less than 24 hours apart early this week. On Monday, an off-duty officer underwent emergency surgery and was in fair condition after being shot in an ambush-style attack at a stoplight. The attack followed an incident Sunday when an officer was grazed on his chin by a bullet as he stood outside a police station. His injuries were described as superficial.
Chicago police officials did not immediately release either officer’s name nor say if they believed the shootings were connected or if either officer had been intentionally targeted as a cop. No arrests have been made in either shooting, which occurred about 5 miles apart on the city’s South Side.
The officer who was attacked Monday while driving was out of surgery and in fair condition that night, according to CPD Superintendent David Brown, who spoke at a press conference aired by WGN9 News. Brown said the officer was shot in the abdomen when multiple vehicles surrounded and opened fire on the officer’s black Jeep just after noon at an intersection in the community of Calumet Heights on Chicago’s South Side.
Brown said police responded to the shooting after the gunfire was picked up by ShotSpotter, an audio surveillance system that identifies and tracks the sound of gunshots with a network of microphones. Police deployed the system in Calumet Heights in 2018, according to the Chicago Tribune. Alerted by the system, Brown said, three tactical police teams responded to the shooting including three female officers who were the first to arrive. Brown said the three provided first aid to the wounded officer and transported him in a squad car to the University of Chicago Hospital.
Brown tweeted that the officer was “out of surgery and is doing as well as can be expected.”
In the earlier incident, a 26-year-veteran sergeant sustained a “superficial” gunshot wound to his chin on Sunday afternoon while standing in his precinct’s parking lot. Brown said the officer was standing in the south lot of the department’s 6th District Police Station when he heard gunshots and “felt a pain” on his chin. He and fellow officers who came to his aid found that a bullet had grazed his chin.
I’m pleased to share that the off-duty Chicago Police officer who was shot earlier today is out of surgery and is doing as well as can be expected. Our eternal gratitude goes out to the surgeons and medical staff at @UChicagoMed who helped save the officer’s life. pic.twitter.com/V0eZGBwKPm
— Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown (@ChiefDavidBrown) March 15, 2021
Brown did not say if police believed the bullet was intentionally fired at the officer, who was on duty, or was a stray shot. Brown tweeted the officer was “in good spirits” but that the incident highlighted that the city’s police force “put themselves in harm’s way each and every day, whether it’s responding to a call or simply standing in their own parking lot.”
According to numbers Brown cited after the Sunday shooting, 14 Chicago police officers have been “shot or shot at” in 2021, with the two officers shot Sunday and Monday being the first to be hit by gunfire. In all of 2020, Brown said, 79 officers faced gunfire, with 10 being hit.
“God bless the men and women of the Chicago Police Department and all officers throughout our country who risk their lives for our safety each and every day,” Brown said.
Overall, police said, 38 people were shot in Chicago last weekend in 21 different incidents, including five that police are now classifying as murders.
Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.
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