3 wounded after Chicago police open fire on fleeing car
Officers opened fire when a suspect pointed a gun at them from the back seat of the vehicle
By Jeremy Gorner, Adam Sege and Liam Ford
CHICAGO — Three men were seriously wounded after Chicago police opened fire on a fleeing car on the Dan Ryan Expressway, then fired on the car again after it exited at 35th Street and crashed into a snow bank, authorities said.
The three suspects were transported in serious to critical condition, two to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and one to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, officials said. No officers were hurt.
Officers began chasing a white Kia Optima after it was involved in a shootout with another group of people at Ferdinand Street and Hamlin Avenue on the West Side around 11:25 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
The officers witnessed the shooting and were radioing it in when someone began firing, according to a police statement and Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police. The attacker got into a car and it sped off and the officers, uninjured, followed.
Police chased the Optima down Madison Street and onto the eastbound Eisenhower Expressway, then south on the Dan Ryan, Camden said. Around 29th Street, police pulled alongside the car and someone in the back seat pointed a 9mm handgun with a large magazine at the officers, Camden said.
The officers fired at the car, which then exited at 35th Street, Camden said. The car hit a Honda Accord on Wentworth Avenue and smashed into a snow bank near a parking lot for U.S. Cellular Field, he said. The passenger in the back seat raised his gun again and officers opened fire on the car, Camden said.
Two men in the front seat tried to leave the car, but the man in the back seat raised his gun again and officers opened fire again, Camden said.
"In fear for their lives, officers fired their weapons, striking three offenders in the vehicle," police said in a statement.
Following the shooting police blocked two lanes of the outbound Dan Ryan and used red and yellow crime tape to block Wentworth. Traffic was also blocked on 35th Street adjacent to the baseball stadium.
Yellow evidence markers littered Wentworth, surrounding a marked squad car. The white car sat off to the side of the street, lodged against a mound of snow, its rear passenger-side door open.
A distraught Jalissa Brown, 22, paced along 35th Street, speaking into a cell phone and smoking a cigarette after learning her boyfriend was in the white car. She was told her boyfriend, 20, was in the car with two other people who she said she didn't know.
"I just want to know if he's OK," Brown said.
"I had to go to work. I'm actually running late for work," she later said, visibly upset.
It wasn't clear what happened to the other people involved in the first shootout on the West Side, but a red Dodge Charger with bullet holes was marked off by crime tape in the 600 block of North Hamlin Avenue.
The Charger had been stolen Monday morning from in front of a house in the 11600 block of South Longwood Avenue, according to it owner, Frances White, 73.
"What?" she exclaimed when told her car had been involved in a shootout. "Oh my God."
She said the Charger was stolen from in front of her son's home around 7:30 a.m. Monday. "He was getting ready to get his daughter to school," White said. "He had started the car and went back into the house for his daughter. When he went out, it was gone. Ten minutes and the car was gone.
"I had said this morning, a car stolen in weather like this, you probably won't find it," White said. "Oh my God."
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