1 Suspect Dead, 2 Injured In Little Village Police Shooting
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UPDATED 04/30/12 11:44 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Police shot three people Monday morning – killing one – as the suspects allegedly burglarized an electronics store on South Western Avenue and smashed their getaway van through a garage door.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song, police say they shot three suspects as they tried to drive away with the stolen merchandise. The van barely made it from the scene.
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The burglars hit Mike’s Electronics, 2459 S. Western Ave., and loaded the stolen merchandise into the gray van – which was parked inside the building and did not belong to the burglars.
Police surrounded the building, located on the northeast corner of 25th Street and Western Avenue, after receiving a call about a burglary in progress around 2:30 a.m. Chicago Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden says the officers ordered the suspects to come out of the building with their hands up.
The suspects did indeed come out of the building, but not in the way police asked.
“The three offenders got into the owner’s vehicle, which was parked inside the building, and instead of getting out, decided to ram through the garage door and into the street, striking a police officer,” Camden said.
The suspects also hit a police sport-utility vehicle, Camden said.
The officers surrounding the building fired shots into the van to stop the suspects, Camden said.
One suspect was killed, and two others were taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County in an unknown condition.
The officer who was sideswiped by the van suffered cuts and bruises, and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.
A neighbor, Terry O’Neill, said he heard up to nine shots.
“All of a sudden, I hear, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop – multiple shots,” he said.
He said he was “scared” after the criminals committed such a brazen act in his neighborhood.
“The police do a hard job all the time, and their life is in danger constantly – constantly in danger – and to have this in a quiet neighborhood, it’s not right, you know,” said neighbor Terry O’Neill.
The scene of the shooting is on the east side of Western Avenue, which stands as the boundary between the Little Village and Heart of Italy neighborhoods. O’Neill said crime is rare in the area east of Western.
“Never, never in this neighborhood, you never have it. On (the west) side of Western Avenue, yes you do, but not in this neighborhood. You never have anything like in this neighborhood,” O’Neill said.
Following the incident, detectives placed markers along the sidewalk and street just outside the store, where shell casings had fallen as the officers fired their guns.
One of the windows in the back of the electronics store was broken, and may have been the location where the burglars entered.