As many as five suspects are big after shooting and wounding an off-duty Chicago police officer on the city’s west side on Wednesday, authorities say.
Officials said the incident happened around 9:15 p.m. in the 2200 block of West Maypole Avenue in the city’s West Town neighborhood.
At a press conference Wednesday night, the acting Chicago Police Superintendent. Fred Waller said the officer was driving down an alley near Maypole and Leavitt when he encountered trash cans blocking his path. The officer got out of his vehicle to clear them away, Waller said.
“While returning to his vehicle, several subjects, about maybe five, confronted him and began shooting at him,” Waller said.
The officer then returned fire and was shot again before getting to safety, Waller said, adding that the officer was taken to Stroger Hospital with a scratch on his arm. Photos and videos of the hospital entrance show several police officers standing outside and entering and exiting the building.
Officials said the officer was last listed in good condition. Still, the officer was shaken, Waller said.
“I spoke to him,” Waller said at the press conference. “Naturally, he’s very emotional and happy to just be touched in the arm. Due to the amount of casings we found there, it could have been much worse.”
Officials say the officer, in his 20s, was on his way home from dinner when the shooting happened. At least one weapon was recovered from the scene, Waller said.
No one is in custody and police say the incident is being investigated by law enforcement and the Civilian Police Accountability Office, which investigates the use of force by the officer.
The shooting comes about three weeks after the Chicago Police Department held a funeral for deceased officer Areanah Preston, an off-duty CPD officer who was fatally shot in the Avalon Park neighborhood while returning home home after his shift.
This story will be updated as new information becomes available.