Off-Duty Police Officer Shot, Killed

UPDATED 12/30/11 4:45 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) –– An off-duty Chicago Police officer is the latest victim of gun violence in Chicago, shot and killed at a North Austin neighborhood convenience store where he was working security.

Officer Clifton Lewis, 41, was in the M & M Quick Foods, at 1201 N. Austin Blvd. on the border between Chicago and Oak Park, when he was fatally wounded about 8:30 p.m., according to police.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Chicago Police Superintendent says two masked, armed men entered the store, and one of them immediately began firing. He said Lewis, who was behind counter, was hit. One of the offenders was believed to be carrying a “Tec-9” semiautomatic, McCarthy said.

Lewis died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“We have some significant leads in this case, and we’ve received enormous community support thus far,” McCarthy said at a Friday news conference. “But we’re here today to advertise that we still need more help.”

A $10,000 reward for information leading to arrests and convictions is being offered by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. A tip line has been set up to field calls at (888) 976-7468.

“We’re going to ensure that the people who committed this horrendous crime are arrested and brought to justice,” McCarthy said. “Because, while it shocks our sensibilities, the fact is, stone-cold killers existing in our society, in our community, present an enormous danger.”

lewis final Off Duty Police Officer Shot, Killed

Chicago Police Officer Clifton Lewis (Chicago Police Department)

The slain officer’s gun and badge were taken, sources told CBS 2. Asked about the information, McCarthy replied: “We’ve recovered much of the officer’s property, not everything.”

Police are looking into a recent incident at the store. In that case, another off-duty officer acting as a security guard fired shots at two would-be robbers as they fled.

McCarthy says investigators are considering the possibility that this week’s shooting was retaliation.

Scores of police officers immediately rushed to the crime scene late Thursday.  Officer Lewis was rushed to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, where he was pronounced dead at about 9:30 p.m. Later, about 40 police cars with blue lights flashing escorted the slain officer’s body to the medical examiner’s office.

Lewis was an eight-year Chicago police veteran. He was assigned to the Austin District Tactical Unit.

“I can’t call the person who did this a man, because he’s not – (he’s) more like an animal,” Chicago Police Cmd. Walter Green said of Lewis’s killer.

“This person is a well-respected officer. I had police officers who go to my church call me right away, very traumatized,” said the Rev. Ira Acree, pastor of the nearby Greater St. John Bible Church. “This is a good man. This is a person who serves and protects. He lost his life tonight trying to serve and protect our community. It is so sad.”

Acree told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman that police officers who attend his church, at 1256 N. Waller Ave., told him Lewis was newly engaged and had just purchased a house.

Community activist Andrew Holmes says neighbors knew and respected Officer Lewis.

“It’s tough. It’s tough for me just to stand here and just to speak on this situation because, you know, he was human. He worked. He helped. He enhanced life over here. He was well-liked in this community,” Holmes said.

On Friday morning, residents who shop at the store and live nearby say Officer Lewis was someone they personally trusted.

“The time I met him, he was a great guy,” said neighbor David Townsend. “He was respectful. He wasn’t a hard, tough guy to get on you. He was respectful. He was down-to-earth.”

But neighbors say even an off-duty police officer was not safe at the store where he was working.

“One guy and no backup – two against one – what are you going to do?” Townsend said. “A lot of people go in there, they don’t even know what’s going to happen.”

Holmes said the recent holdup was the very reason why Officer Lewis was hired as a security guard at the convenience store.

Nearly 12 hours after the deadly shooting, police wrapped up their work at the store, where they had been combing for evidence and looking for surveillance video. Police also interviewed the owner for most of the night.

The owner did not want to talk on camera, but said he has handed over surveillance video.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation will present Lewis’s family with a check for $50,000 to ease its financial burden, project manager John Gordon said.

  • ccoc

    hope the off-duty officer is not in serious condition.prayers to the officer and family.hope fior quick recovery.another thing hope they catch the thug[s] that did the shooting[s].

    • Centurion

      You should strongly consider reading the entire article. Serious condition? Does DEAD count as serious?

      • Reasonable Doubt

        Centurion I agree–reading is fundamental!

      • Mr Bill

        The first version of this story was, he was just shot and not dead at the time.

  • Just Axin

    YApe- Nothing has come out yet about the offenders, but chances are they have a criminal history. What we CAN do is insist that our state lawmakers abolish time off for good behavior. So when these africaners break the law, they will serve their ENTIRE sentence, instead of being released to the streets to do what comes naturally.

  • Afro

    What Pat Quinn should do is stop forcing good hearted honest citizens to be considered criminals for being prepared to defend them selves. I’m no criminal but I will not fail to defend my self and family to the best of my ability, That’s where me and Pat Quinn don’t see eye to eye. Well I’m sure sense he is governor he gets his way but when it comes to ,my families safety I say fuk the governor how’s that?

  • Alonso Gribbs

    I hope they catch the filthy simian that killed this officer.

  • Yard Ape

    I knew mine would be gone., funny because when the simians run their “mouphs” a good majority of those comments remain.

    @JustAxin – You must be joking, right?? These liberal POS judges and defense lawyers will never allow that to happen in this miserable state!

    • Brishauwna Williams

      Beginning yesterday around 2:30, the CBS censors went to work and started to delete opinions at a steady rate. I countered by replacing my opinions and they immediately took them down. This went on for about two hours. Ultimately they eliminated the comment sections on several stories. I wonder if NWApe got a job in the station’s web site department!!!.!

      • Afro

        Same thing happened to me I was reposting and then all of a sudden they removed the ability to comment. But one thing is for sure if this happened to CBS there would be a major uprising from them.

  • iris

    Tragic. Condolences to this officer’s family, friends and collegues. This city has become nothing but a jungle.

  • Bill S.

    Doesn’t Chicago pay it’s policemen and women enough that this fellow didn’t have to moonlight?

    • Pamala E.

      In a city with property tax that is increasing, parking fees that are ridiculous, city stickers and water bills that are exorbitant, what exactly constitutes enough?

    • TiggerWoo

      Really………….is this a good comment. Bill S this was a guy who could have been saving up for his Wedding. I work 2 jobs…..Maybe its a crime to work 2 jobs…..Bill I’ll work three jobs to support my family, BTW the reason Businesses hire Cops is because regular security guards get absolutely no respect.

  • me

    Is this really a WHITE issue…. it happened to a BLACK man in a BLACK community by BLACK criminals…. why are you turning it into a race issue?????

    • Yard Ape

      @me – read your comment genius. I never said it was a white issue. But you mentioning BLACK x 3 certainly coincides with it being a race issue.

      I don’t care what the race of the deceased is, may he R.I.P.

      BUT I do care about the BLACK problem in this city!!!! AND when a WHITE person makes an honest comment about that BLACK problem, he or she should NOT be censored.

      • Afro

        Lyndia I hope you come back and read this because it was your own Al Sharpton that said “The war isn’t over”

      • Yard Ape

        @Lyndia – please refer to the story about the robber/ 2 women forced into sex act for my rebuttal to you and yours.

      • Pamala E.

        Marginalizing this as a Black problem suggests that these issues only exist amongst Black people and that this behavior somehow represents who Black people are. Nothing could be further from the truth. The majority of us are responsible, contributing, working, educated, tax paying citizens.

      • Yard Ape

        @Pamela E. – I’m not marginalizing anything. Simply look at the facts!!! Bottom line is that another innocent person has fallen victim to a BLACK criminal. How do you as an educated, tax paying BLACK citizen feel about the OBVIOUS problems in the BLACK community??? I’m being serious, please answer that question.Please don’t use the same old excuse about the “system” failing these poor folks. Because the “system”seems to cater to an overwhelming majority of BLACKS and that still isn’t enough!

        The last stats that I’ve seen reflect that over 75% of the violent crime in Chicago is commited by BLACKS although the BLACKS represent on 32% of the population here. Once again, I’m simply stating facts!

      • Pamala E.

        Yard Ape, as an educated, tax paying citizen of Chicago, I realize that this criminal behavior is as individual as their bad choices, there is no so called “Black problem”. We have a crime problem . This particular crime was committed, allegedly, by two individuals not a community of people. Why is it that when Black people commit crimes other people act as though we all must wear their deeds? I’m not sure what your ethnic background is but when someone in your race commits a crime how is that processed? Is it an individual making a bad choice or the ” ——problem”. There are Black people who are criminals,but there are many more who are like me. So, this isn’t a community problem, it’s as individual as their stories and choices. We are not a collective, who think, act or speak with one voice, nor do we bear responsibility for all of those who are Black. I am responsible to ensure that those who I brought into this world are on the correct path. Chicago has a huge crime problem a lot of which is socio-economic and that covers all races. If there is ever to be a serious conversation and real solutions we have to get rid of group think.


      • Anglo-Saxon

        @Pamela, After reading your latest post I felt it necessary to express my opinion. There is no excuse for violence. The term, “Socio-Economic” is nothing more than a cop out. The young black men in this city commiting the majority of violent crimes are not commiting the crimes to feed their family or to make ends meet. The robbing and killing is done for the pure pleasure of it. There is no “Black Problem”? Really? Take away all violent crimes commited by blacks and there isn’t much left. Have you ever heard of a group of young whites beating and robbing someone for a couple of bucks and an i-Phone? It doesn’t happen. How often do you hear of a car load of whites driving up in a car and opening fire on a crowd in the hopes of killing one person? It doesn’t happen. The crime rate in Chicago is DIRECTLY linked to the Afro-American communities. Englewood is a perfect example. It is a gangster mindset that exists in these communities. These daily problems are not prevelant in any other communities on the grand scale in which it exists in the Afro communities. Until law abiding blacks and especially the so called black leaders stand up and denounce the “Black Problem”, the problem will only fester and get worse!!! S.O.S.

      • Lyndia

        Nobody is censoring you Yard Ape. Everybody know that you are an idiot. The Civil War is over but you are living it everyday because that is who you are. You are not concerned about the black problem in this city or any place else. You do not even know what the black problem is. Are you black? I cannot state what the white problem is because I am not white.

      • Anglo-Saxon

        @Lyndia, I think most of us would agree that it has been pleasant all day until now. Your nappy ass always has to abuse others on this blog. With the exeption of a couple of others, nobody here agrees with you or even cares what you think. You are abusive and foul. You take a daily beating from the majority of people here and yet you keep coming back for more. Are you a glutton for punishment or are you just plain stupid? NOBODY SUPPORTS YOU HERE!!!!!!

  • TiggerWoo

    I met Mr Officer Clifton Lewis several times and let me tell you, he was one of the nice guys. People please understand the lost behind this crime. We have a Officer of the law working part time to earn some extra cash. Then you have a couple of knuckle heads out there robbing and stealing from hard working people. No one wins, Officer Lewis…doing the right things in life is gone and his young daughter and soon be wife will never have the love they deserve from this day forward. This Officer wasnt at the wrong place at the wrong time, he was doing what is expected from any man or woman out of life….WORKING. As for the person or persons who stole this Officer’s life, don’t give them life in prison, give them death only if its proven beyond a reasonable doubt. I work 2 jobs and do not want to pay for someone to lay up in prison for the rest of their lives and I’m paying for it. People I was never for Capital punishment but this is getting way out of hand. Pray for Officer Lewis and his family.

  • Pamala E.

    Anglo-Saxon, I never offered any excuse for the behavior of these or any individuals. How could I, I don’t know them. Which is exactly my point. As a group, as a race we bear no responsibility for their individual behavior. Stop thinking of this as a group problem. If this were the “Black problem” we would all be criminals and we’re not. I am Black and middle class. So are all the Black people I know. I’m no more responsible for them than you are for any White criminals. I didn’t offer the socio-economic point as an excuse but simply to say that in the lower rungs of society criminal behavior exists on a higher level across racial boundaries. Why do you feel it’s my responsibility to address the issues of those I don’t know, will likely never know, who made their own stupid choices? Are you responsible for criminals that share your ethnic background? That is just ludicrous thinking. I’m responsible only for the children I brought into the world and putting them on the correct path, if I fail at that in favor of some anonymous so called” community” that you speak of nothing else I do will matter. Once again Black people are not a collective, we do not speak nor behave in lockstep. Neither do the Afro-Americans.

    • Lyndia

      Pam. How long have you been reading this web site. IT IS THE HOME OF THE RACIST. Of course, you and I both know that we are not responsible for the crime that occurs or the criminals that commit these crimes. I did not raise them, they are no kin to me, what can I do? Nothing. But the fools that comment thinks that ALL Blacks are the same. When they begin talking about my race, I talk about theirs. Neither race has anything to be proud of when it comes to crime because both races commit them. Whites kill their parents, Blacks shoot each other at the drop of a hat. All of it is sick but there are sick individuals in both races.

      • Pamala E.

        Lyndia, I agree. I am in no way defending the crimes Black people commit but these posters think every Black person is leading that kind of life. You are saying what I have said repeatedly today. I’m only responsible for children I’m raising not some anonymous criminal. How and why should I take responsibility for some random Black people that I don’t know. I have read the comments before but today is the first day I bothered to comment. I think they are comforted by their beliefs. Some of these comments are crazy.

    • Anglo-Saxon

      @Pamela, You completely missed my point. I realize you have no responsibility for other’s behavior. I’ll try to give an example of where many non-blacks are coming from. In reference to the recent release of the new Air Jordan shoes. Have you seen the video footage of the stampede of black people breaking down doors to get to a pair of shoes? The crowd was 99% black. Last night on the news, I saw a group of black reverends and so called black community leaders calling for Jordan and Nike to be more responsible in their marketing. (Meaning they shouldn’t have produced a shoe so desirable) Instead they should be sending a message to the black people willing to fight for these shoes to stop acting like a bunch of uncivilized animals. As long as black leaders and other responsible members of the black community keep blaming the system or whitey or whatever, instead of speaking directly toward the black communities, the problem will only continue to grow!!! S.O.S.

      • Pamala E.

        Yard Ape, I’m going to hold off on the standing ovation for Anglo, for right now. I’m not missing the point, I get what you’re saying, I just disagree. I’m not sure if you play favorites or not when it comes to other racial groups committing crimes. But do you expect other White people from their “community” to take responsibility for them and direct them? We’ll see. Just keep Black people are not a monolithic group. I have encountered many criminals of all racial backgrounds. The one constant that I found is that stupid and criminal should forever be tied together.

      • Yard Ape

        @Pam E – one final question and then I’m done with this – you speak of individual decisions, etc. why do you think so much of the crime in this city is commited by blacks??? In other words why is that so many blacks make these decisions to act violently and commit crimes??? Not just in Chicago, but nationwide and I will go as far as to say worldwide (look at what just happened in England).

        Before anyone dares throw the racist tag at me, maybe some others would care to answer that question as well??

      • Pamala E.

        Anglo-Saxon, I get what you’re saying. However, Individuals are responsible for their own behavior they don’t require the so called “leadership” of reverend whoever to make good choices. Nor do they need the input of “the other responsible members of the community”. Perhaps in forums such as this, on the Internet, people are placing for criminal behavior but the vast majority of law abiding citizens, that includes Black people, are not making excuses for this madness. But their responsibility still isn’t “speaking directly toward the Black communities”, Black people are not collectively responsible for each other. No more than you are for those sharing your ethnic background. When I saw the people making the mad dash for Jordan’s, on the news, I chalked it up as madness and moved on. I took no ownership of that and I doubt that I know anyone who was there. I don’t know one person who is blaming a system for the kind of behavior displayed at that store. Most Black people find that just as deplorable. The bottom line is that this behavior is still born of individual bad choices and the solution is just as individual and personal. It is not a function of the group to solve and address the problems of the ones who make bad choices. The very old and established neighborhoods where this behavior has been unleashed are angry about the things that happen. If you think people in Chatham and South Shore are sitting around talking about White responsibility you are wrong. And send ‘whitey’ back to the 60s & 70s. No one says that.

      • Anglo-Saxon

        Mr. Yard Ape, I just don’t get why so many people can’t comprehend it. It seems so elementary to me. Sometimes I think I am talking to rocks!!!

      • Yard Ape

        @Anglo, BRAVO !!!!! STANDING OVATION !!!!!!!!!!!!! Well said straight across the board. As for Pam E. – I wish you and your family well, but as Anglo already stated, you are missing the point. There are quite a few of us on here that have stated over and over again, that WE play no racial favorites when it comes to crime. You can see our comments on plenty of stories regarding white criminals!!



  • Pamala E.

    Yard Ape, I don’t begin to know why Black people, White people or anyone chooses to be a criminal. There is no one answer to that question. I deal with.criminals on a daily basis, the racial backgrounds differ, but what is the same, is that the dumb criminal is a reality. But rather than focus on the group that makes negative choices, I rather focus on what is involved in Black people choosing a productive path in life not focusing on the negative.

    • Afro

      @Pamala E.

      I assure you that when a white person commits a crime Anglo, Yard or myself are among the first to condemn it but when it’s a black person and we condemn them all we here is this poor black man never had a chance and we are racist for speaking out. Now ask your self this, Weather it be right or wrong is it no wonder why people think of blacks the way they do?

      The majority of stories like this are about blacks, their neighborhoods are on average a higher maintenance and the majority of inmates in prison are black and blacks make up the majority on welfare. One can only conclude by the facts that the majority of the black populous is a drain on civilization.

      • Lyndia

        Excuse me, but there are more whites on welfare than blacks. Check you facts.
        Additionally, prior to 1960, there were more whites in prison. I am not saying that blacks do not comit crimes but when they do, you are the rest of the trailer trash are quick to call people out of their names and make inferences about them as though you people are perfect and you never comit any kind of crime. The majority of serial killers are white. More white peoplekill their parents that blacks. Are you going to deny that?

      • Pamala E.

        Afro, I work with the criminal element daily, of all races. I have not said one word in defense of criminal behavior no matter who commits it. I spoke against the pejorative statements made here that never seem to focus on the individual in question, but instead on an entire race of Black people. I spoke against the erroneous belief that the majority of Black people are criminals, we are not. We are middle class and doing the same things you’re doing, working and doing the things necessary to raise our families. I came here regarding the murder of my colleague Officer Lewis but started reading the comments. What became clear is that, many of the posters here have little or no exposure to Black people at all. Your information is coming almost solely from news outlets, not from the experience someone like who is a homeowner has a college degree. Everyone I know is like me. Productive. But the news talks about the squeaky wheel and might lead you to believe that is the majority. It is not. Your scope needs expand beyond just what CBS, NBC and ABC tell you.

      • Afro

        @pamala E

        see I never said the majority of black people are criminals, you call your self educated?

  • Afro

    She fails to understand it’s not the color of their skin that makes us upset, it’s not the color or texture of their hair that makes us upset it’s the murdering, robbing shooting and looting that is being done and 95% of the time it is being done by the blacks and I am pretty much sick of people like her and Lydia defending these less than human thugs. Now I’m pretty sure they are going to try and twist my words thinking I said 95% of the blacks are doing the crime but that’s where they fail. I can’t help it if they call them selves educated but have no reading comprehension skills.

    Here is the post where Pamala E stereo types White men along with Lyndia

    Pam, Pam, Pam, can’t you see that afro and some of the other idiots are plan stupid. Can’t you see that? I’m educated, own my own home, have an advance degree. I drive a nice car and I have a 401K. These people that you are attempting to have dialogue with are racist. You cannot reason with them. THEY ARE TRAILER TRASH. Therefore, talk about them. Remind them of how the killed off the Indians. (White man speaks with a fork tongue.) Remind them how they are hated the world over.
    December 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm
    Pamala E.
    Lyndia, you are so right I am surrendering this madness to them cause they just don’t get it. Ha! Ha! Perhaps they do need to be reminded of some historical truths about themselves. Cause there is no reasoning with them. Thanks for
    the reality check.
    December 30, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Pamala E. the racist cop

  • Slain Officer’s Daughter: ‘I Miss Him Being Here’ « CBS Chicago

    […] Tears fell as 11-year-old Simone Lewis remembered her father, who was gunned down at a convenience store Thursday night in the Austin neighborhood. […]

  • Slain Officer’s Public Wake, Funeral Set For Thursday « CBS Chicago

    […] Lewis, an eight-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, had just started working part-time as a security guard for the M & M Quick Foods, 1201 N. Austin. Thursday night, two masked and armed men entered the store and one began firing immediately, police … […]

  • Police Canvass For Information In Officer’s Murder « CBS Chicago

    […] Officer Lewis was killed on Thursday of last week, during a robbery at the M & M Quick Foods convenience store, 1201 N. Austin Blvd., where he worked as a security guard while off-duty. […]

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