CHICAGO (CBS) — A shooting that left three officers wounded outside the Grand Central District police station Thursday came amid a very challenging and difficult past couple of months for Chicago Police.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said around 9:40 a.m., Grand Central District officers were trying to take the suspect into custody at the station, located at 5555 W. Grand Av., when the suspect managed to fire several shots at police, hitting three officers. Police returned fire, wounding the gunman.
One of the officers was shot in chin, neck, and his protective vest. He was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in serious to critical condition. Trauma surgeon Dr. Samuel Kingsley said the officer was placed on a breathing tube.
A second officer was shot in his protective vest, but the bullet did not penetrate his body armor, according to Brown. He was being treated at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.
A third officer was shot in his hip, and also was being treated at Loyola, Brown said. Two more officers suffered chest pains. One was being treated at Loyola and the other was being treated at Illinois Masonic, police said.
The incident came just two days after newly-promoted Chicago Police Deputy Chief Dion Boyd was found dead of an apparent suicide inside the Homan Square police facility on the West Side.
Meanwhile, civil unrest involving issues relating to police goes back to late May, after George Floyd was killed at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. That led to a nationwide call for justice for people killed by police.
On Saturday, May 30, five days after Floyd was killed, protests were followed by arson and looting downtown. Several police cars and also buildings were set on fire, and officers were pelted with projectiles.
The unrest led Mayor Lori Lightfoot to announce a curfew that was in effect for several days and also to raise bridges and restrict access to the Loop.
More looting and arsons followed on Sunday, May 31, in city neighborhoods.
Protests have followed all through the summer to date, and two weeks ago Friday, one of them got violent again. Police said organized mobs are using peaceful protests as a Trojan horse of sorts during the protest at the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park.
Video released a few days later showed a group arriving and appearing to be part of the peaceful message. But they then changed clothes and motives.
“Defund CPD” banners in the front of that peaceful march in Grant Park were held together by PVC pipes that police said later became sharpened and weaponized.
The violent group was also seen re-stocking the crowd with projectiles: bricks and frozen water bottles. Explosives were also thrown, and a sergeant was left with a broken eye socket.
The group also tried to drag the Columbus statue to the ground that evening, but did not succeed.
A total of 49 CPD officers were injured, 18 sent to the hospital, and 12 protesters arrested.
Last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the Grant Park statue and another one in Arrigo Park on the Near West Side to be taken down – though the mayor said the move was temporary in the interest of public safety.
All of these incidents also come on top of a city already under siege from gun violence on a daily basis.