09/16/2007

Chicago officer shot trying to make drug arrest

By Angela Rozas
The Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO  A veteran Chicago police officer was shot and wounded Friday while trying to make a drug-related arrest at a South Side public housing development, police said.

Devaris Perry, 20, was charged late Friday with shooting the 55-year-old officer in the left arm during a struggle for the officer's gun, police said. The officer then shot the man in the thigh. Both the officer and Perry were in stable condition, police said.

Perry of the 6600 block of South Hoyne Avenue, is charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery with a firearm, police said.

"Today is an example of how dangerous police work is," Interim Police Supt. Dana Starks said outside Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where the officer remained Friday.

The officer and his partner were checking a vacant apartment in the Ida B. Wells building in the 500 block of East Browning Avenue about 10:30a.m. after they received reports people were bagging and selling drugs there, Starks said.

The officers, who were dressed in civilian clothes but wearing bulletproof vests with their badges on them, walked into the fifth-floor apartment and found a man and a woman handling suspected narcotics, police said.

The man ran and an officer chased him, Starks said. The officer caught up with him on the third-floor stairwell. During a struggle, the man gained control of the officer's gun and shot him in the arm, Starks said. The officer regained control of his gun and shot Perry in the thigh, police said.

The officer, who has worked in the public housing unit for the last five years, is expected to be kept overnight at Northwestern, police said.

"The officer is in stable condition," Starks said. "Looks like he's going to be OK."

Perry was taken to Stroger Hospital, where police said he also remained in good condition.

The woman was being questioned, police said. Perry had previous drug-related arrests and was on parole, Starks said.

Copyright 2007 The Chicago Tribune

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