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Off-Duty Officer Shoots Home Invasion Suspect

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(STMW) -- Two people are in custody after an off-duty Chicago Police officer shot one of three men who tried to break into his home Friday afternoon in the Far South Side Roseland neighborhood.

The officer was at home in the 9600 block of South Princeton Avenue about noon when the suspects tried to break into his home, police News Affairs said in a statement.

After one suspect pointed a handgun at the officer, the officer shot at them in fear for his life, police said. The suspects drove away in a stolen vehicle, but were halted near 89th Street and Yale Avenue, where two people were arrested.

The injured suspect was shot in the back and is in serious condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, police said.

Independent Police Review Authority spokesman Larry Merritt confirmed the officer-involved shooting, and said his department was notified just before 1 p.m.

Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden defended the officer’s actions, saying the 33-year-old officer was with his 7-year-old daughter at the time of the incident.

The officer saw a van parked in front of his house when someone rang the doorbell about noon but he did not open the door, assuming the visitor was a solicitor, Camden said. He then heard someone trying to pry open the front door and saw the van outside pulling up to the side of the house, he said.

The officer sent his daughter to her bedroom and called 911 before going outside and through the side door, finding two men in front of his house as well as another driving the van, Camden said.

One man ran away northbound on Princeton Avenue, and the other ran toward the officer on his way into the van, Camden said.

As the man was getting into the van, he pointed a gun at the off-duty officer, who shot the man in his left shoulder, Camden said. The van then led police on a chase before crashing, he said.

Charges are pending against the injured suspect and the driver of the van, authorities said. The third man who ran away is still at large, according to Camden.

Area South detectives and the IPRA are investigating.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)