Updated 02/19/12 – 6:14 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago police officer was shot Sunday afternoon in the South Shore neighborhood.

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Calumet Area gang officers responded at 3:56 p.m. to a call of a person with a gun in the 6800 block of South Stony Island Avenue, on the cusp of the Grand Crossing and South Shore neighborhoods, the Sun-Times Media Wire reported.

The suspect ran off, and officers pursued him to the 6700 block of South East End Avenue, where a struggle began between the suspect and one of the officers. During the struggle, the suspect pulled a gun and shot the officer, police told the wire.

“We were very lucky today because of the actual circumstances of the struggle,” said Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. “It was a life and death struggle.”

Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden told the wire that officers then shot the suspect, a boy of 17 or 18. He was taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County in serious condition.

Police officers transported the officer to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the officer was shot in the left hand.

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Camden told the Sun-Times Media Wire a female officer from a three-person, unmarked police car ran down the suspect and tackled him, That officer was checked out on the scene for possible injuries, Camden told the wire.

South Shore resident Lorri Howard said she heard four gunshots.

“A gentleman shot the officer and his partner pursued him up the street,” Howard said. “I didn’t see. I just saw them working on the officer.”

Howard said she’s lived in the area for about nine years, and, although there are shootings nearly every day, she has never heard of a police officer being shot before.

“That’s what got me so like, ‘Are you serious?’” Howard said. “That’s out of control. That’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculous. That is, that’s sad. They’re going to have to do something about this over here, because it’s out of control. It really is.”

Howard said she saw the officer on the ground after hearing the shots. She said paramedics worked on the officer for 10 to 15 minutes before he was taken to the hospital.

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Police hope to have the suspect who allegedly shot the officer charged with attempted murder of a police officer.