Off-duty Oak Lawn police sergeant shot while working security near Richards High School: officials

ByCate Cauguiran and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, March 12, 2024
Off-duty sergeant shot while working security near south suburban HS
An off-duty police sergeant was injured in a shooting in Oak Lawn, IL in the 10800 block of Central Avenue, the police department said.

OAK LAWN, Ill. (WLS) -- Oak Lawn police said one person is in custody after an off-duty sergeant was shot three times while working a private security job at a south suburban trucking company on Monday.

Investigators have been piecing together the details of what led up to gunfire ringing out near 109th and Central.

Dajuan Morgan, an employee at the Oak Lawn trucking company, said he heard at least four shots before he saw the off-duty sergeant and other employees trying detain a man.

"Oh my goodness. Like, wow. You just never know what's going to happen nowadays," Morgan said.

Police said another employee who works at the business arrived at the trucking company around noon and got into an argument with other workers. The off-duty sergeant and another armed security officer were nearby.

At one point, police said, that employee turned and walked in the opposite direction before taking a semi-automatic handgun out of his inside coat pocket. He loaded the gun and turned toward the sergeant before attacking him.

Police said the other security guard then fired at least one round at the gunman. The gunman was able to fire five rounds, striking the sergeant twice in his bulletproof vest and another time through his leg.

The shooter's gun jammed, and the sergeant and second security officer placed him into custody with help from other people on the scene, police said.

"I turned around. In a matter of seconds, they had him, tackling him, doing whatever they had to do get him away from the gun. It didn't take that long," Morgan said.

Morgan said he jumped in to help as well, and noticed the sergeant had been shot.

"He was still coherent. He was talking. He knew he was shot, but he was still on the suspect and after he got up I was like, 'You okay? Let me help you secure him,'" Morgan said.

The sergeant then put a tourniquet on his own injured leg and was transported to Christ Hospital for treatment, police said. The second security officer suffered minor injuries and refused medical treatment.

He did his job. We need a lot of people like that, just here to protect us

The gunman, police said, is in custody and charges against him are pending.

Meanwhile, the shooting prompting students at a nearby high school to shelter in place.

The superintendent at Community High School District 218 issued a statement, saying, "Harold L Richards High School worked with our local police to ensure the safety of our kids. We immediately went into shelter in place. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the police officer involved in this unfortunate incident. Thank you to the Oak Lawn police for always going above and beyond for community, students and staff."

Chopper 7 captured multiple evidence markers placed at the scene, where investigators remained for hours.

Police said the sergeant was shot in his leg and twice in his chest. Thankfully, his bullet proof vest blocked what could have been critical injuries.

"He did his job. We need a lot of people like that, just here to protect us," Morgan said.

It is not yet known whether the sergeant fired back at the suspect.