Cop dragged behind shoplifter's car, backup shoots driver
Three were arrested on Thanksgiving after shoplifting from a department store then fleeing police
CHICAGO — A police officer responding to a call of alleged shoplifting at a Chicago area department store on Thanksgiving shot the driver of a car that was dragging a fellow officer, authorities said.
The wounded driver of the car and the dragged officer were both taken to a hospital Thursday night for treatment of non-life-threatening shoulder injuries, Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey said at a news conference in that suburb about 30 miles southwest of Chicago. He said three people were arrested.
Kohl's store in Romeoville contacted police shortly after 10 p.m. to report two people were shoplifting clothes, Turvey said.
"As officers approached the front door, one of the two subjects ran out the door into the parking lot" and the officer chased him to a waiting car, he said.
"The officer was struggling with the subject as he got into the car and then the car started to move as the officer was partially inside the car. The officer was dragged quite some distance. He couldn't get out," Turvey said.
The police chief said a backup officer fired two or three shots toward the driver when he refused orders to stop, striking him once in the shoulder.
The car stopped and police arrested the driver, the passenger and a third person still inside the store, Turvey said. He did not reveal their identities.
There were no reports of any injuries to shoppers hunting for deals ahead of Black Friday.
The Chicago Sun-Times said the store was open early Friday and people were shopping inside while a small portion of a fire lane was taped off outside with several police cars nearby.
Kohl's spokeswoman Sydney Hofer declined any detailed comment in an email Friday.
"We are cooperating with the authorities leading the investigation and are referring all media inquiries to police," Hofer said.
Monica Fernandez, 41, of Romeoville, was quoted by the Sun-Times as saying she had just pulled into the lot and was getting ready to shop Thursday night when she saw police running after a man and heard gunshots.
"I ducked under my seat," Fernandez said. "It's crazy. Romeoville doesn't' have a lot of crime like that."
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