Off-duty officer, 38, shot in both legs

June 15, 2012 4:11:35 PM PDT
An off-duty Chicago police officer was shot outside his home at 97th and Genoa early Friday.

There was an active search for the shooter or shooters just blocks away at 100th Place and Wood as of 5 a.m.

A crime scene unit was looking for shell casings at the shooting scene. Investigators set up big lights to illuminate a grassy area near 97th and Vincennes. Officers believe the shooter was in that area when he opened fire on the other side of the train tracks about 100 yards away. Investigators are looking into the possibility that rival gangs may have been shooting at each other.

Chicago police say around 1:30 a.m., an off-duty officer was sitting on a back porch with a few friends when he heard shots ring out and then felt pain in his leg in the Longwood Manor neighborhood. Police and paramedics responded and took the off-duty officer to the hospital where he's being treated for non-life threatening injuries to both of his legs. He was treated and released from the hospital Friday.

Just blocks from the scene of the shooting, there was an active search for a suspect or suspects who might be involved in the shooting. A police helicopter was seen flying over the neighborhood Friday morning.

Police do not know if the off-duty officer was targeted or if this was a random shooting.

Police say the off-duty officer is 38 years old and has been on the force for ten years.

"They were off-duty. They were just sitting outside. You know how you sit on your patio and chill. It's a nice night, and that's all they were doing," said neighbor Debra Robinson.

"It's a fearful thing because gangs are -- they're intimidating, they are fearful to hear about," said neighbor Angela Walker. "I have a son who's 12 years old and it's a fearful thing to know that he could be an innocent bystander just like this policeman."

The neighborhood is filled with homeowners who are current or former members of law enforcement agencies. Walker has been in the community for years and says there are pockets of the neighborhood that can be dangerous.

"It's a horrible thing so we just really have to continue to be watchful, to be prayerful and vigilant as much as possible," she said.

It's unclear if the shooters were on foot when they got away or whether they were in a car, but so far police have not released any suspect description.

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