CHICAGO (CBS) — Officers shot and wounded a suspect who was firing at them in Englewood Sunday afternoon, police said.
Chicago police said the suspect is a 20-year-old man.
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, the shooting led to chaos in the neighborhood, as crowds lashed out at what they called extreme police actions.
But officers gave another story, saying misinformation sparked the widespread outrage that ended with citizens and officers injured and a sense of distrust in the community.
Police were called around 3:20 p.m. to the 5700 block of South Racine Avenue for a person with a gun.
Officers found a man in an alley who matched the description they were given and they attempted to confront him, police said.
The suspect then fled from officers and during the chase, he took out a gun and fired shots at the officers, police said.
The officers fired back and struck the gunman, police said.
The suspect was in custody at the University of Chicago Medical Center, police News Affairs Deputy Director Tom Ahern tweeted.
The officers involved were transported to a nearby hospital for observation, police said.
A gun was recovered at the scene, Ahern reported. He released a photo of the gun in the grass next to an evidence marker.
Offender’s firearm recovered by police after firing at Officers. Officers returned fire striking the offender. Offender transported to U of C Hospital. pic.twitter.com/UQPmfP3a35
— Tom Ahern (@TomAhernCPD) August 9, 2020
Meanwhile, word of the incident left outrage behind. Videos showed a crowd gathering about an hour later, as more police flooded in.
Tense moments followed as clashes sparked up over what police said were multiple things – including the suspect’s age.
Word spread on social media that the person officers shot was a boy – something that police refuted.
“Just to clear up confusion – late teens early, 20s,” said Chicago Police Deputy Chief Yolanda Talley. “Just misinformation all around. No one was concerned about the condition of the young man.”
But as time went on, police said the crowds got aggressive.
“We did have an officer who was Maced by someone in the crowd. We do have an officer who sustained a shoulder injury. One of our vehicles, the windows were shattered by a brick,” Talley said. “Very hostile.”
But it was a different story from community activists who came out. One told CBS 2 officers were abrasive and that activists had to calm the situation down.
“I watched a police officer grab a young man and pull him in with his shirt and beat him up and kick him in the face. They left his blood on the ground,” said activist Joseph Williams. “I watched the police whip another young man, throw him in the back of the car and drive off with him.”
Police said they arrested two people related to clashes.
On Sunday night, activists urged better policing, while police urged more community awareness.
“It’s disturbing to me because when will police ever practice community engagement?” Williams said. “When will they practice anything that deals with mediating conflict?”
“This right here is a direct response to one agitator being on the scene, getting people worked up without having the full story,” Talley said.
The specifics of the incident, including a comprehensive use of force investigation, were being probed Sunday evening by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Per protocol, the three officers involved will be placed on administrative leave for 30 days.
CBS 2 has requested any bodycam footage from the incident.