CHICAGO - Two men have been charged in a shooting that injured a Chicago police officer last week, police said Monday.
The police officer is recovering from a shattered knee after she was shot last Friday after a call came in of an armed robbery in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. While employees and a customer were rounded up and bound with zip ties, an employee in back slipped out and another customer escaped through the front before shots were fire as the suspects attempted to get away.
Relatives of one of the men charged with shooting a police officer defended their brother.
"I feel like my brother was influenced. The person he was with, I feel like they influenced my brother to do that because my brother is not that type of person," said Gabrielle Simpson, Donzell Grant's sister.
Donzell Grant and Cortez Harrington were charged with several offenses, including armed robbery and attempted murder. In court prosecutors described the scene last Friday afternoon in which they allege another yet to be charged co-offender was also involved.
"When defendant Grant and the co-offender entered the store, they were armed with handguns," Cook County Asst. State's Attorney Jennifer Bagby said.
Around 1:30 p.m. Friday, employees and a customer were held hostage at a cell phone store at 43rd and Ashland. As the suspects left the store, police were in pursuit despite a waiting car.
"As the offenders reached the west side of Ashland, they turned and pointed their guns at the officers, a shot was fired," Bagby said.
A female officer from the ninth district was shot in the leg. The suspects would allegedly steal a van as the pursuit continued, but were eventually arrested.
"Thankfully we have caught those individuals responsible and the officer will make a full recovery. IT just goes to show you the things our officers face every day in an effort to make this city safer," Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.
Superintendent Johnson said the officer remains hospitalized as the criminal prosecution against the two suspects gets underway.
"We are sorry for her and her family that she got hurt. But for our family, we're sorry that he was around the wrong person at the wrong time," said Kopaneck Simpson, a sister of Donzell Grant.
Supt. Johnson offered an update on the officer as he announced a milestone in guns taken off the streets. So far this year, they've recovered more 5,000 weapons. That's more than all of last year - and without as many of the gun buyback offers.
Gun arrests are also up 30 percent. As the superintendent said, it is progress but the dangers still exists for citizens and officers.