CHICAGO — Three Chicago police officers and a suspect in a carjacking were injured in an exchange of gunfire at a Northwest Side police station during an arrest Thursday morning, according to authorities.
Dozens of shots were fired, according to one source. One officer who was shot and seriously wounded was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment, officials said. The person police believe to be the “offender” in the incident at the Grand Central police station also was shot, police said.
Three other officers were taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood in “very good condition,” according to a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.
At a news briefing late Thursday morning, Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said the most seriously wounded officer was shot in the chin and his bullet-proof vest. A second officer was struck in his vest, but the round did not penetrate it; a third was shot in the hip; and a fourth officer was transported with chest pains.
The police officers recognized the vehicle from a carjacking that occurred downtown on Sunday, Brown said, citing a preliminary investigation. He did not disclose where the arrest took place but described the suspect as a “violent, carjacking” offender.
“I want to strongly emphasize the inherent danger that these and all Chicago police officers experience everyday protecting the residents of Chicago,” Brown said. ”When they leave home, they leave their loved ones, and put these stars on and risk everything. They risk everything protecting all of us.”
Initial information from police sources describe the incident as occurring at about 9:40 a.m. while the suspect was in custody and being transferred to the district’s station. The shooting happened at or near a sally port, a pathway used by police to take prisoners to the lockup.
During the transport, the offender was able to fire multiple shots at the arresting officers. It was not immediately clear whether the man was armed or was able to take a gun from one of the injured officers.
Brown asked for prayers for all of the injured officers. Asked by a reporter if all the officers were expected to make a full recovery, Brown said, “We pray and hope so.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot also asked for prayers. On Twitter Thursday she said, “We’re continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates as they become available.”
“Today is a searing reminder of the danger our men and women of our Police Department face every day they put on their uniforms and leave their homes,” Lightfoot wrote. “This is the sacrifice they make in order to serve and protect our city and fellow residents.”
At 10:30 a.m., dozens of police officers and several police vehicles we’re stationed outside of Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Yellow police tape was set up around the “ambulance only” entrance at the intersection of Wellington and Mildred Avenues.
Police officers directed people looking to visit the hospital around the perimeter.
The seriously wounded officer was assigned to the Grand Central District, according to police sources. City records show the officer started working for the department in 2003.
Later in the morning, officers had blocked traffic in the area in front of the station. At least a dozen onlookers stood across the street in Hanson Park.