CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Police officer was shot and wounded Monday afternoon in the parking lot of a busy shopping center at North and Sheffield avenues.
The officer was shot in the left side of the cheek in the parking lot of the North & Sheffield Commons shopping center at the southwest edge of the Lincoln Park community. The shopping center carries an address of 1000 W. North Ave.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Monday Brings Wind, Blast Of Cold Air
The officer was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been released from the hospital, and stopped by his district police station before he headed home Monday night.
Earlier outside the hospital, police Supt. David Brown said it all started with an altercation inside the Ulta beauty store in the shopping center. Someone in the store called police because someone was acting erratic, Brown said.
It was not clear exactly what happened in the store, but Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), who represents the area, noted that the gunman and a person who was with him had failed to wear masks in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.
“We do know that the offender and the person he was with were not wearing masks, and there was some type of confrontation,” Hopkins said. “It’s too early to say if that confrontation was the result of them not wearing a mask.”
Police immediately responded, and the person got into a struggle with an officer, police said. The struggle continued out into parking lot and another officer arrived, Brown said.
The suspect then fired three rounds at an officer and struck him once, Brown said. The officer suffered a through-and-through wound to the face.
The suspected shooter was in custody, sources said. No officers fired back.
A weapon was recovered, police said. Police News Affairs Deputy Director Tom Ahern tweeted a photo of the weapon.
— Tom Ahern (@TomAhernCPD) October 18, 2021
Police had already increased their patrols in the area for other incidents and were nearby at the time, Brown said.
“We’ve been doing a lot of patrols in this area – just extra patrols – and so we were really close when the call came out,” Brown said. “There have been some incidents in this area that include the Ulta – some burglaries – but nothing as serious as violence.”READ MORE: Multiple Juveniles Arrested During Large Gathering, Fights Near Millennium Park
An area near the Ulta store was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape late Tuesday. A silver Chevrolet was also taped off, and officers were seen going in and out of it.
Officers also went store by store in the shopping center looking for surveillance video. All the stores were shut down.
Crime scene is in the Best Buy parking lot. pic.twitter.com/rJilV5Y9UM
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) October 18, 2021
This is terrible pic.twitter.com/VJAOiTQ6fO
— L Force (@LForce7) October 18, 2021
The bustling shopping center also includes a West Elm, an Epic Burger, a Pottery Barn, and a Best Buy, and is the former site of the first Chicago Whole Foods store and Transitions Bookplace.
Hopkins was angry that another police officer had been shot in Chicago.
“The good news is the officer’s injuries are not life-threatening, but let’s pause and reflect on the fact that it is life-altering,” Hopkins said. “Getting shot in the face is no small matter – even if you’re going to live from those injuries, and even if you’re going to fully recover from those injuries – and let’s pray that he will.”
A woman named Emily who lives across the street from the shopping center heard the shots.
“At 3:30 in the afternoon on a Monday, it’s very unsettling,” she said. “If they’re going to shoot a police officer, they’re going to shoot anybody – and I think that’s what kind of gives me the chills, and it’s scary – no matter who you are.”
On Monday night, the officer was released from the hospital and returned to the Near North (18th) District police station at at 1160 N. Larrabee St. wearing his hospital gown, while other officers saluted him.
The officer returned home afterward.
Hopkins said it was very fortunate that the outcome was not far worse.
“Let’s say it’s a centimeter or two at the most away from striking another part of his head instead of going through his cheek,” Hopkins said. “It was that close.”MORE NEWS: Murray throws for 2 TDs, runs for 2 as Cardinals beat Bears
The gunman remained in custody late Monday, and police were questioning a woman who was with him at the time of the incident. At last check, there was no word on any charges, or if that woman was detained.