CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Police officer was shot Wednesday afternoon in the West Garfield Park neighborhood by a man he had just seen shoot and kill someone else, police said.
As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported, the officer who was shot didn’t let his injuries stop him from catching the shooter.
Interim Supt. Charlie Beck said around 2:26 p.m., an on-duty Chicago Police officer saw a suspect shoot and kill someone on the sidewalk at Madison Street and Pulaski Road. The man who was shot dead was 26 years old, police said.
The officer followed the suspect as he fled the scene in a white pickup truck, Beck said. When the suspect realized he was being followed, he got out of the pickup truck, pointed at the officer’s vehicle, and began firing multiple rounds, police said.
Police earlier said the officer was shot at Karlov Avenue and Wilcox Street, a couple of blocks away from the original scene.
One round of gunfire hit the officer in the wrist, and other officers tended to him and rushed him to the Stroger Hospital of Cook County.
— Mike Puccinelli (@MPuccinelliCBS2) January 29, 2020
While headed east on the Eisenhower Expressway toward the hospital, the officers happened across the suspect in the white pickup truck.
They asked the officer whether he wanted to go directly to the hospital or take a detour and apprehend the suspect, and he advised the latter option, Beck said.
Officers followed the pickup truck, which ended up crashing into a stationary object. Video from Chopper 2 showed that the pickup truck crashed into a tree in front of the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center at Damen Avenue and Harrison Street.
The pickup truck remained at the scene at 6 p.m., ringed with police tape.
The suspect ran off, but police captured him without any shots being fired, Beck said.
Meanwhile, Beck rushed to the hospital himself and immediately went inside the emergency room to check on the officer, CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported.
As of 4:30 p.m., the officer was resting with his family at his side at Stroger Hospital and was lucid, talking to his children on the phone. He was expected to make a full recovery.
Dr. Leah Tatabe, a trauma surgeon at Stroger Hospital, said the officer was expected to be released from the hospital within 24 hours.
At a news conference at the hospital, Mayor Lori Lightfoot praised the officer who suffered the gunshot for getting a suspected killer off the streets.
“There’s no question that the officer’s work today, recognizing the danger that the community was in from the offender who was then fleeing the scene, ended up saving other lives,” Lightfoot said.
The mayor continued, “Anyone who ever doubts that our officers are courageous, are fearless, selfless, and run towards danger to serve the public – today is another testament to the fact that they do all of those things every single day.”
Beck said the officer is in his early 40s and is a veteran of the Chicago Police Department of more than 20 years.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli and Tara Molina contributed to this report.