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5 in custody after 5-hour standoff in South Chicago

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Five people are in custody following a five-hour standoff with police in the city's South Chicago neighborhood, including a repeat gun offender. The offenders fired at officers. (WLS)

SWAT teams swarmed a home in the city's South Chicago neighborhood after shots were fired at a police district commander late Thursday night. A five-hour standoff with the suspects ended early Friday morning.

Police said five suspects were taken into custody around 3:30 a.m. Friday without incident and several weapons were recovered from the scene.

The commander was checking out a suspicious person in an alley in the 8800-block of South Saginaw Avenue around 10:20 p.m. Thursday when one or more people opened fire on his unmarked patrol car, police said.

"I couldn't understand what was going on. I was surprised and kind of frightened. I didn't want to get in the window too much because I didn't want any stray bullets," said Debra Johnson, who lives nearby.

The commander saw at least one suspect run into a nearby home. A SWAT team and dozens of law enforcement agents were called to the scene after they refused to come out, police said.

Johnson said about five hours later, she heard a big boom.

"Then I just saw them take a couple of people and put them into squad cars," Johnson said.

Police said no one was hurt.

"I said there's something serious going on if the whole city out here. All the vehicles was out here earlier this morning. But it's shocking to know that that happened," said Caroline Bryant, a neighbor.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said he will not stand by as his officers come under fire, and said the department will use the full force of the law against anyone targeting a police officer.

This is the third time since the weekend police have come under fire.

"Just by the grace of God they are all here to tell the story. That's ridiculous. Coming to work, doing their jobs, and they've been a target," Johnson said.

On Sunday, a man who shot his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach on the city's West Side was killed by police. The CPD said he opened fire on an officer unprovoked. That officer has a graze wound to his head.

On Monday, shots were fired at officers in the midst of a sting operation targeting gun sales in the 6100-block of South Kolmar Avenue on the city's Southwest Side. No one was hurt. Two reputed gang members were charged with attempted murder.

Among those arrested Friday morning was a repeat gun offender.

"We've got to change the culture in this city. We've got to change the mentality. We have to make it so gang members don't want to pick up a gun. That's what we're trying to get to," Johnson said.

At a news conference Friday, Johnson used Jeremy Terry as an example of a repeat gun offender. Rather than jail, he was sent to a bootcamp.

"Gun offenders get a slap on the wrist in this city, and it has to stop. I need our judicial partners and state legislators to help me close this gap," he said.

After bootcamp, Johnson wants repeat gun offenders to get serious jail time. He said he is optimistic state lawmakers will take up the issue when they return to session in January.

Related Topics:
standoffshots firedSouth Chicago
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