CHICAGO - Police released more information Monday about the gang shooting that injured two police officers in Back of the Yards Tuesday night.
Angel Gomez, one of two people investigators said are responsible for the shooting, thought he was shooting rival gang members, police said.
The 18-year-old man was charged in connection with the shooting. Gomez faces two counts of attempted murder. He is the first person charged in the shooting.
Gomez is accused of being the driver of a vehicle carrying someone armed with an assault rifle who shot at the two undercover police officers. The unmarked, gray tactical van carrying the cops was riddled with over 25 bullets from a high-powered .223 rifle.
Reading the proffer after Monday's bond hearing for Gomez, a Cook County state's attorney detailed the chain of events that led to the shooting of both undercover police officers.
It began after the officers started to follow a Nissan Murano they believed contained gang members looking to retaliate for an earlier shooting.
"The two occupants of the trailblazer looked at the two officers and the officers looked back at them. The officers believed they were in danger," said Assistant State's Attorney Jim Murphy.
The officers, from the 9th District, were at West 43rd Street and South Ashland Avenue around 9:10 p.m. when a minivan pulled up and the people inside opened fire on their tactical van.
"After firing several shots through the front passenger window, the co-defender jumped to the back and opened the side door of the minivan to get a better angle on the officers van. He then continued to fire his assault rifle repeatedly at the officers," Murphy said.
The officers, who are 26 and 38 years old, were both struck, but survived the shooting. They were released from the hospital on Wednesday. It was through the use of surveillance video and canine units that police were able to locate all of the vehicles involved as well as the .223 caliber assault rifle used against the officers.
After learning that the shooting involved Chicago police officers, gang members cooperated with police and provided information leading to the identities of the suspects.
Prosecutors said Gomez gave a full videotaped confession. The shooter who is still at large was identified by fellow gang members after they realized they have mistakenly shot at police officers.