CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man was critically wounded in a shootout with University of Chicago police late Tuesday morning during a routine beat patrol in Hyde Park.
At about 11:43 a.m., a University of Chicago police officer was on patrol when he spotted a person with a handgun near the corner of 53rd and Woodlawn, according to a statement from Eric Heath, associate vice president for safety and security at the university.
The person began firing shots when the officer stopped his vehicle to investigate. The officer then fired back, striking the individual, Heath said.
"Officers pulled up, he shot at them and I heard he shot back," said resident John Jones. "I did see about seven casings on the ground down there."
Paramedics picked up a gunshot near Hyde Park Boulevard and Woodlawn Avenue, Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.
The man, in his 20s, had several gunshot wounds and was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, Langford said.
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"The police fear for their lives as well, so they're going to fire back," said Zaria Clark, who works nearby. "If you give them probable cause to hurt you, they're going to hurt you."
Both the Chicago Police Department and the university are investigating the incident.
The crime scene near the university's Hyde Park campus stretched several blocks in each direction. It shut down a nearby shopping center, leaving people who live nearby confused and a little shaken by a midday shooting.
The investigation shut down a nearby shopping center. Patrons were turned away by police officers and left confused and a little shaken by a midday shooting.
"A bystander could have got hurt because of that," said Clark.
"It's frustrating, it's futile, it's scary," said resident Alan Hirsh. "You feel terrible about everything that's going on but if a man was walking down the street waving a gun?"
Following, UCPD protocol, the officer is being placed on mandatory administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations, Heath said.
A University of Chicago police officer shot a student in that same area in April of 2018 when prosecutors said the man lunged at the officer with a pipe.
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The incident set off campus protests but the student was later charged with aggravated assault on an officer.
The Sun Times Wire contributed to this report
Man critically wounded in shootout with University of Chicago police in Hyde Park, CFD says
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