CHICAGO (CBS) — A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the shooting of an off-duty officer on Wednesday, and police have released a surveillance image of the shooter’s car.
The 25-year-old officer’s condition has been stabilized after he was critically wounded in a shooting in the Bronzeville neighborhood.
Police said, around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, the officer was parked near 37th and Prairie in his SUV, when he and his female passenger noticed a black Toyota Camry circling the block. When the officer started driving away, they noticed the car following them, and they called 911.
Seconds later, someone in the vehicle following them opened fire, shooting the officer in the head.
The SUV crashed into a stop sign, the fence of a nearby elementary school, and a tree before his personal vehicle came to a stop.
The officer was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery for a gunshot wound to the head. His female passenger was not wounded.
“This tragedy reminds us that Chicago police officers are not immune to gun violence that affects our city,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.
Police said part of the shooting was caught on surveillance video, and have released an image of the shooter’s car, a newer model four-door Toyota Camry with tinted windows.
Detectives are working to trace the car’s path from the scene of the shooting. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Police have not released the officer’s name, but the wounded 25-year-old officer has close personal ties to Johnson. The wounded officer is the son of a retired police officer who worked alongside Johnson for years at the 6th District. Their sons now work together at the same district.
Police said detectives are looking into whether or not the officer was targeted. Johnson said it’s possible the shooting was a case of mistaken identity.
The wounded officer was showing signs of improvement hours after the shooting. Police said he gave a thumbs up while undergoing treatment at the hospital.