Off-Duty Cop Shoots, Kills Home Invader

UPDATED 03/29/11 5:14 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — An off-duty Chicago Police officer shot and killed a man who tried to attack the officer in his Roseland neighborhood home Tuesday morning.

Just before 8 a.m. Tuesday, an intruder armed with a weapon entered the home of an off-duty officer in the 10000 block of South Princeton Avenue, according to police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

“The intruder attempted to attack the officer who, in fear for his life, shot the suspect,” Mirabelli said.

As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, the officer’s neighbors said the man might have been shot while he was trying to steal copper wiring from an air conditioning unit outside the officer’s home.

Neighor Dewain Easterling said that, before he heard the gunshots, he heard the officer yelling.

“He hollered ‘Police officer stop, police,’ and next thing you know there was three shots and everything went quiet after that, and then after a while I seen him come out the front, I came to ask him what’s going on,” Easterling said. “He said someone trying to break in his house and he shot him.”

“He was, I ain’t going to say nervous, but he seem shooken up,” Easterling added.

The suspect was armed with some type of cutting instrument. Police initially said he was “very critically” injured.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the man had died. His name was not being released as of Tuesday afternoon

The officer was not injured, Mirabelli said.

John Cooper was fast asleep next door to the officer’s house when he heard the shots.

“When I came to the back door, I saw somebody laying and I saw my neighbor standing next to him,” Cooper said.

The wounded man was on the grass just a few feet from his neighbor’s air conditioning unit, according to Cooper.

“When I saw him, he was still alive. To be honest, I believe I saw his last breath,” Cooper said.

He and other neighbors said they recognized the man from the neighborhood, and believe he had been trying to steal copper wiring from the officer’s air conditioning unit.

“This is the third time that the guy done came. As you can see the brackets are being taken off, and that last one is still on,” Cooper said. “I guess that’s the one he was trying to get.”

Neighbors said there’s been a rash of similar thefts in the area and homeowners are fed up.

“They take gutters, anything they can sell,” Easterling said. “We work hard for our stuff over here. No one wants no one to break in your house, but you have to protect your house too.”

“It’s unfortunate. No one wants to take someone’s life, but he was protecting his property,” Easterling added.

Calumet Area detectives and the Independent Police Review Authority are investigating.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

  • Rick Stubblefield

    GOOD !!!!!!!! Give him a meadal..

  • Rick Stubblefield


  • B. Carson

    Once you give up your 2nd Amendment rights the rest don’t matter.
    You poor folks in Chicago have allowed yourselves to be disarmed.

    • Rick Stubblefield

      Gee B, For an unarmed city there sure is a lot of shooting here.
      Wake up and smell the coffee dude, jeez.

  • Ken M

    Because Chicago Police area on duty when they are not on the clock and respond to crimes if they are witness. Part of the reason police and fire personel are required to live in the city, common sense.

  • Hal

    Dam–dont ya just love the outcome of this–1 less thug to terrorize good hard working people

    • Taria Collins

      I agree with Hal….

  • billy 's mom

    Oh wait — The young man was only armed with a “cutting instrument” – why didn’t the POPO just wing him? Why did he have to kill him? He was crying out for help… He was turning his life around… He was just looking for donations so he could buy his own gun… Crime just went down 1/10 of 1 percent on the South Side – What a maroon….

  • defensive action

    Nobody keeps a frying pan or baseball bat in their bedroom. Do they? What if he had a gun along with a cutting tool? These *ssholes are desperate now and show absolutely no mercy!

  • Just Nee

    Kudos to the POPO who shot the intruder, it was either him or the intruder. If someone come into my home on me and my family and attempt to rob me of something I worked hard to received you better believe they will be CARRIED OUT ON A STRETCHER I would have done the same thing by any MEANS necessary!!

  • JagerLOSB

    It is anyone’s right to shoot someone invading your home. Bet the idiot’s family will try to sue the cop….

  • justsayin

    An unarmed non-cop because Chicago wants to take everyone’s gun away would have probably been assaulted or killed. This is why we need guns and need to stop electing politicians (who can afford protections along with tax-payer provided protection) who are trying to strip law-abiding citizens their only means of real protection from thugs who couldn’t care less about slitting our throats for a crack or meth fix. Wake up America!

    • Rick Stubblefiled

      Justsayin, I have a trained German Shepard. No one would get in.

  • knappydawg

    Great, 1 for the good guys. Saved a lot of money on lawyers, triial, jail, probation, next trial, lawyer, jail, probation – On and on and on!!


    The bleedin’ heart courts won’t be puttin’ that one back on the street to kill your grandma. Another bad guy bites ther dust

  • knappydawg

    Just a thought, does he owe any child support, maybe we could sell a kindney and do a little good!!

  • Just Nee

    @ knappydawg good one!

  • will

    KD-Kidney probably no good-this poor young man was probably looking for some stuff to steal to support his drug habit-he just happened to pick the wrong house-His grandma probably did the best she could in trying to raise him right

  • BZ

    If this could happen on a daily basis imo atm tbh but the only reason it got in the paper is because a CPD was part of it, home invasions happen every damn day….how often do you read about em eh? rofl

  • GO Southside

    Better yet why not he take a cell picture, text it to the police like they want us to do. When we see a crime happening. They’ll respond accordingly.

  • Tyron Jackson

    NIceee if they do this Fifty times a day that will clean up southside pretty much..

  • Tony W.

    so its ok to kill a guy over something as petty as wiring? u people are sick!

  • Linda G

    On one hand, I understand the situation happened quickly – as did the response. IF the thief would have been INSIDE the house, I wouldn’t have this small concern wondering IF this could have been handled without deadly force. Is it possible the off duty officer mistakenly thought the hand tool was a gun/did he HAVE a gun? … what I’m reading said no to both. What I’m reading gives me reason to believe the history of neighborhood incidents colored the officer’s judgement in handling “a thief outside his hone”. Had he kept professional rather than personal, I believe he would have seen other options.

  • WRONG!

    The comments that are being said about this man is NOT true, I am best friends with his daughter. You ignorant people are quick to pass judgment on someone. What if that was you son, father, uncle, or brother?! Regardless none of you know what really happened only GOD and that police officer. I believe it could have been done in a professional way; that man did not have a weapon, and for him to murder that man was uncalled for. The first shot was in that man’s leg, NOW why the hell would he shot that man two more times in the CHEST!? Once that man had fallen to the ground he was DAMN SURE NO HARM TO THAT POLICE OFFICER! SO you ignorant ass people think before you just start the typing…

    • Linda G

      Dear Wrong, I agree that it is human nature to expect the newspapers to report “honestly”. As a former Law Enforcement Officer, I can say that the access reporters have to our reports shortly after having written them, is dry and factual – and I’ve seen far too many “reports” in the newspaper that I can no longer recognise from the report that I had written. (the “basic” facts are there, but in order to sell the paper – they embellish. Therefore, I believe the saying: “Don’t believe everything you read”). My heart is sad for your friend’s daughter and yourself for the loss of your friend. Personally, I feel the officer OVER-REACTED due to the area having problems with theft (reportedly). PERSONALLY, I feel this should be handled as a homicide, but I think that is “unlikely” due to his being a police officer. (not fair, but sorry to say, I believe that is how the world works; we are not likely to change it).

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