2 Police Officers Shot On West Side
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UPDATED 07/19/11 4:55 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police were questioning a “person of interest” in the shooting of two young Chicago police officers overnight as they were trying to stop a drug deal.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, it happened in an alley near Karlov Avenue and Wilcox Street on the West Side.
“It’s starting to feel like the police department is under siege. This is the sixth police-involved shooting in the last 72 hours,” said Police Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Pat Camden.
But around 10:45 p.m. Monday, an attempted drug stop near Karlov and Wilcox went terribly wrong when the suspect opened fire on police — injuring two 29-year-old officers.
The officers, who had both been on the job for three to four years, were on patrol at Karlov Avenue near Wilcox Street – between Monroe and Adams streets – when they saw a drug deal going down in an alley.
Sources said three people are in custody, including the shooter, but police wouldn’t confirm that.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports
As they got closer, police say one man pulled out a gun and opened fire on them.
“A number of shots were fired where both officers were struck. One was grazed in the left head and in the left bicep,” said Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
That officer was treated and released from the hospital.
“The second officer was hit square behind his left ear and the bullet is lodged. It’s a very serious wound,” said McCarthy.
At John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, dozens of colleagues and loved ones stopped by to check on the condition of an officer who sources say might lose his hearing in one ear.
Meanwhile, in West Garfield Park, residents there say drug-fueled violence is something they’ve come to expect.
“Two officers at that. People don’t care about nothing no more. That’s crazy,” said Kenesha Price.
What is clear is that Supt. McCarthy suspects a higher power may have been looking out for his officers.
“You know what God was with us tonight that’s for sure,” said McCarthy.
Police said they are questioning a person of interest in connection with the shooting. No one has been charged yet. The officer with the bullet lodged in his head is expected to make a full recovery. Specialists are being brought in to try and determine the safest way to remove the bullet.
Throughout the morning, there were several officers canvassing the neighborhood, questioning residents, and gathering evidence. Detectives were spotted walking in and out of one particular house about a block away from the alley.
“Up and down this block, up and down the corner and all the way back – drugs, drugs, drugs,” said Brenda Johnson, who lives on the block.
Immediately following the shooting, the entire area was surrounded by police, including a helicopter hovering on the scene. Officers are searching area gangways and alleys for evidence.
At Stroger, where the officers were being treated, plenty of officers – even the forensic team – came by to investigate.
The names of the two officers were not being released as of 4:45 p.m.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.