CHICAGO (CBS) — A handcuffed carjacking suspect opened fire on Chicago police officers when they opened the doors of a police wagon outside a Northwest Side police station Thursday morning, wounding three officers, one of them critically.
The gunman also was wounded in the shootout, and two other officers suffered chest pains during the incident.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the shooting turned the police station that many in the area considered a safe spot into a crime scene.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said, around 9:40 a.m., Grand Central District officers were trying to take the suspect into custody at the station, located at 5555 W. Grand Av., when the suspect managed to fire several shots at police, hitting three officers. Police returned fire, wounding the gunman.
— Dana Kozlov (@DanaCBS2) July 30, 2020
The shooting happened behind the police station near the sally port. A sally port is a secure area within the police station where officers pull their vehicles in to start the booking process of someone they are arresting.
Several hours after the shooting took place, the sally port at the Grand Central District was closed.
The gunfire left one Chicago Police sport-utility vehicle with bullet holes and two windows shattered, and a second one also damaged by gunfire.
The gunfire lasted more than a minute. A source gave CBS 2’s Brad Edwards video in which you can hear the rapid-fire gunshots.
Dozens of evidence markers were seen – likely for shell casings – all over the parking lot.
Police called at 10-1 for every unit that was on duty to rush to the scene.
It was not immediately clear how the suspect managed to get his hands on a gun after he’d already been arrested by police. Multiple sources said the suspect used his own gun, which he somehow managed to keep with him even after being arrested, but Brown was not immediately able to confirm that information.
There was a question as to whether the officers searched the man before arresting him.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said it is tracing the gun to see if it has been used in previous crimes.
The investigations continued Thursday night as to what did and did not go right during the arrest. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is also reviewing body camera video.
Brown said the incident happened after officers had spotted a car wanted in a downtown carjacking that happened on June 26, and arrested the suspect.
“Officers got behind this car, identified it as that carjacking vehicle, stopped the car, put the suspect in custody, and then the rest transpired afterwards,” Brown said.
A source with direct knowledge of what happened said the suspect was fighting with officers, and would not allow them to handcuff him as they were trying to get him into a police wagon. Officers eventually cuffed his hands in front of his body and placed him into the wagon.
According to the source, when the officers arrived at the Grand Central District station, and opened the door to the wagon, the suspect was standing up inside, holding a gun. He opened fire on the officers, standing in a firing stance, and shooting continuously.
Officers fired back, and between the suspect and the officers, more than 50 shots were fired, a source said.
VIDEO / Sound : CPD Officer & offender seriously wounded in shootout. Another 2 officers potentially injured. Source says this was video nearby. Hear rapid-fire gunshots. via https://t.co/NFlrMNoulb pic.twitter.com/KWYdOMqqzR
— Brad Edwards (@tvbrad) July 30, 2020
One officer was shot in chin, neck, and his protective vest. He was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in serious to critical condition. Trauma surgeon Dr. Samuel Kingsley said the officer was placed on a breathing tube, and doctors were working to stabilize him.
CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported a source told her that officer’s condition was “very critical” and he was unresponsive when he was taken to the hospital. He had to be revived twice on the way to the hospital, the source said.
As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reported, the urgency of getting the officer to the hospital was clear. An ambulance first passed by, followed by about 20 police cruisers trailing swiftly behind – one right after the other.
No doubt, most of the officers were aware of the seriousness of the situation and the officer’s injuries.
After the wounded officer arrived at the hospital, the exterior of the hospital was blocked off as a strong contingent of officers came to the scene, blocked off streets, and guarded the hospital.
The officer was reported to be stabilized and in the ICU late Thursday.
A second officer was shot in his protective vest, but the bullet did not penetrate his body armor, according to Brown. He was being treated at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.
A third officer was shot in his hip, and also was being treated at Loyola, Brown said.
Two more officers suffered chest pains. One was treated at Loyola and the other at Illinois Masonic, police said.
Supt. Brown stopped at Loyola Thursday to check on the officers.
A Loyola University Medical Center spokeswoman said earlier that all three officers were treated and remained under observation late Thursday afternoon, CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reported. By Thursday night, they had all been released, CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported.
Supt. Brown and Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II met with and thanked the paramedics who treated all three wounded police officers.
Police Superintendent Brown and Fire Commissioner Ford II thank the CFD Paramedics who treated the police officers injured in the multiple shooting today at 25th District pic.twitter.com/2Df7Ag14n5
— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) July 30, 2020
The gunman was taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, but his condition was not available.
“I want to strongly emphasize the inherent dangers that these and all Chicago police officers experience every, every day protecting the residents of Chicago. When they leave home, they leave their loved ones, and put their stars on, and risk everything. They risk everything protecting all of us,” Brown said.
In a post on Twitter, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked for prayers for the wounded officers.
Today is a searing reminder of the danger our men and women of our Police Department face every day they put on their uniforms and leave their homes. This is the sacrifice they make in order to serve and protect our city and fellow residents.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 30, 2020
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the officers’ use of force, and the officers involved will be placed on 30 days of administrative duties, as is routine procedure in police-involved shootings.
CBS 2’s Brad Edwards, Dana Kozlov, Vince Gerasole, Jeremy Ross, Charlie De Mar, and Jermont Terry contributed to this report.