Updated 10/24/14 – 11:48 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A manhunt was underway early Friday, after an off-duty Chicago police officer was shot during a robbery attempt in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood.

Police said three men approached the 41-year-old officer as he was sitting in his personal vehicle, a white BMW, near 74th Street and Langley Avenue shortly before 1 a.m.

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said it didn’t take long for the officer to realize something was wrong.

“One offender tries to open the passenger door. At that point, the officer puts his car in gear, tries to drive away. The offenders open fire. The officer is hit in the chest,” he said.

The suspects fled the scene.

The officer was not wearing a protective vest since he was off-duty, but he was able to keep driving and flag down another police officer who was in his marked squad car. That officer drove his wounded colleague to the University of Chicago Medical Center. From there, an ambulance took the wounded officer to the trauma center at Mount Sinai Hospital.

“He’s alert. He’s talking. He’s a very, very lucky officer at this point,” First Deputy Supt. Al Wysinger said.

The officer was out of surgery late Friday morning, and his condition had stabilized. His only daughter, Jenae Starks, flew in from Kansas to be at her father’s side at the hospital.

“Everybody’s saying he’s good. They’re saying that he’s talking, and I talked to him for a few minutes; told him I was on my way out here,” she said. “He’s good. It’s a blessing.”

Her mother, LaTonya Darden, said she got the call around 1:30 a.m.

“At first, I’m like, ‘What happened?” So that’s it. I just thought it was all downhill, but luckily it was all uphill. Everything is good,” Darden said.

Several police officers also were at Mt. Sinai to offer their support to their wounded colleague and his family.

CBS 2 has decided not to release the officer’s name until the Police Department makes it public.

Meantime, investigators were conducting a manhunt for the three suspects.

“Detectives are out there. We’re going step-by-step, and possibly door-by-door, to see if anybody that lives in the community … may have witnessed this, may have saw the direction that the offenders may have fled in. We’re backtracking to see if maybe they left any clues, or dropped any items as they fled,” Wysinger said.

The officer is an eight-year veteran of the department who has received several departmental awards.