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Police: Suspect Killed In Shootout With Cops Led Lethal Drug ‘Crew’

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Arturo Ibarra (family handout)

Arturo Ibarra (family handout)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago police say Arturo Ibarra called the shots in a murderous crime spree this weekend, leading authorities on a car chase, firing at officers and wounding one in the leg.

Arturo Ibarra, 37, was shot and killed by authorities Saturday, but two other suspects remain in custody yet to be charged. Another of the suspects’ victims remains hospitalized in critical condition from his wounds.

Ibarra was fatally shot following a fatal double-stabbing and a vehicle pursuit where officers were targeted by gunfire.  At his Southwest Side home, relatives gave no indication the father of three lived a violent life.

“He’s been working very hard and supporting his family,” Anastacio Toscano, the suspect’s uncle, told CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole.

Police told a different story about Ibarra.

“He’s been arrested before — he’s a bad guy,” Nick Roti, chief of the Chicago Police Department’s organized crimes division, told reporters at a news conference.

Ibarra was the ringleader of a small “crew” of violent criminals, doing business with drug cartels, police said. He reportedly was responsible not only for Saturday’s murders on the North Side, but several other multiple killings that total at least seven.

“They worked in the narcotics business, so to speak, and they have no proclivity to killing if they want to, need to, if it’s expedient for them,” Roti said.

Gang investigators were on a separate surveillance Saturday evening when they noticed several people running from a building in the 5800 block of North Winthrop in Edgewater.  Three men had been stabbed inside, two fatally.  

The suspects tried to flee the scene in a black pickup truck but were followed by a marked police cruiser. In the ensuing chase, the suspects reportedly rammed the cruiser and repeatedly fired at police, wounding one officer in the leg. 

Two blocks away, the pickup was stopped, and in an exchange of shots, Ibarra was killed. His two companions were taken into custody. 

“All the officers involved are heroes,” Roti said. “They knew what they were getting themselves into. They knew how violent this crew was. We think we got them all.”

Authorities say the 39-year-old police officer who was shot is a member of the Gang Investigations Unit. He is reportedly doing well. 

The two suspects in custody have yet to be charged and have not been identified. Authorities have not identified the third victim from the Winthrop Avenue building, who is still recovering at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

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