Chicago cop shot in head during 'gun battle' with bank robbery suspect on NW Side; boy, 15, also shot

ByLiz Nagy and Eric Horng via WLS logo
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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A Chicago police officer is among three people shot after a bank robbery led to a police chase, a crash, and a "gun battle" on the city's Northwest Side.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago police officer is among three people shot on the city's Northwest Side Tuesday night after a bank robbery led to a police chase, a crash, and "gun battle," police said.

CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the incident started in northwest suburban Des Plaines, where a bank was robbed. Des Plaines police took one offender into custody at that scene, who fled on foot. The second suspect escaped and stole a car, Johnson said.

FBI agents and Des Plaines police gave chase, following the suspect down the Kennedy Expressway and alerting Chicago police. CPD officers were waiting when he exited the expressway at Irving Park Road shortly before 7 p.m., Johnson said.

Upon seeing Chicago police, the suspect opened fire, according to Johnson, and struck the injured officer in the head.

While police initially said the officer suffered a graze wound, just after 9:45 p.m. CPD Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said imaging revealed the bullet "did penetrate and exit the officers' skull." Doctors said he has suffered a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. He is in serious but stable condition. His doctors said the injury, while tangential, is "definitely more than a graze wound."

Johnson said the pursuit ended in a music store in the 4200-block of Irving Park Road. The suspect exchanged gunfire with a Des Plaines police officer, at which time a 15-year-old boy, who was at the music store for a piano lesson, was struck in the arm and abdomen. The teen was taken to Comer Children's Hospital in serious condition, and his condition has since stabilized.

The 32-year-old offender was struck and killed by gunfire, Johnson said.

Johnson said CPD officers did not fire any shots during the exchange of gunfire.

Johnson said the injured officer is 46 years old, and is a 17-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who works out of the 17th District. Johnson said he has received more than 100 awards and commendations for his police work.

Bystanders and commuters scrambled for cover as a chorus of police sirens roared into Irving Park just before 7 p.m.

"A lot of people started running away, just fearing for their life," said Bryan Lewis, witness.

"The bus driver pulled over about the middle of the block, next thing I know I heard pop, pop!" said Brian Deets, witness.

Witnesses said police appeared to be chasing a white car, which they rammed. That's when witnesses said the driver bailed out, armed and ready.

"He hops out of the car and starts shooting immediately," Lewis said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted a statement Tuesday night, saying in part, "Tonight, our hearts are breaking as we're reminded of the service and sacrifice our officers make every day to protect us and keep our communities safe."