Updated 08/07/14 – 12:04 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Two suspected shoplifters were in custody Thursday morning, after an off-duty Chicago police officer shot out the tires of their car when they allegedly tried to run her over in the parking lot of a Jewel grocery store in the Oriole Park neighborhood.
At approximately 7:10 p.m., employees at the Jewel-Osco at the Jewel-Osco at 7342 W. Foster Av. notified an off-duty Chicago detective of two who had filled a basket with food, and tried to walk out without paying, according to police. The employees pointed to the two suspected shoplifters, who had left the store and were loading food into a vehicle.
The police officer approached the suspects, who had gotten into a red Ford Focus in the parking lot, and announced herself as a cop.
Police said the offenders responded by accelerating their vehicle at the officer, who fired her gun in fear for her life.
Witnesses said the car spun out, and the suspects were soon arrested.
“She told the perpetrators to halt. They tried to jump into the car, and she shot the tires out of the car,” said one eyewitness who asked only to be identified as Joe. “He tried to run her over, and that’s when she had to pull out her weapon and shoot the tires out, because he wouldn’t halt.”
Jessica Tansor’s daughter was working at the store at the time, and called her mother when the business was essentially locked down as police swarmed the strip mall to investigate.
“Somebody was firing a gun, or something, and she was really scared for her life,” Tansor said.
Those who watched the action said it seemed like something out of a Hollywood movie.
“It was just kind of freaked out, because we’re not used to hearing that around here,” said Vilma Ilaguno, who works at a gym in the same strip mall. “I’ve been working here a few hours today, and every member that comes in is concerned and worried ‘Why is it happening over here?’”
No one was injured. The two suspects were arrested a short time later. Police said their car was loaded with stolen merchandise. Charges were pending against the two suspects.
The Independent Police Review Authority was investigating the shooting.