Chicago Cop Shot during Gun Battle with Bank Robber in Irving Park Neighborhood

(Sun Times Wire) A bank robbery in Des Plaines led to three people — including a Chicago police officer and a 15-year-old boy — being shot on the Northwest Side on Tuesday evening.

The officer, a 17-year Chicago Police Department veteran, was shot in the head and was listed in serious-but-stable condition Tuesday night, according to personnel at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

A Des Plaines police officer who had pursued the suspect into the city ultimately shot and killed the suspect — a 32-year-old man — in the 4300 block of West Irving Park Road shortly before 7 p.m., according to CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson.

A 15-year-old boy was also shot in the crossfire, Johnson said, but it was not clear if he was shot by the Des Plaines officer or the robbery suspect. He was shot in the abdomen and arm and had his condition stabilized at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Johnson said two people robbed a bank in Des Plaines earlier in the afternoon, though officers in the suburb were able to take one into custody almost immediately.

A bank teller who handed over the money was able to conceal a tracking device that allowed police to monitor their location, police said.

The suspect, who initially evaded police, then stole a car and drove toward Chicago, Johnson said. CPD officers were waiting for him when he exited the Kennedy Expressway at Irving Park Road.

“Upon seeing CPD, the offender fired at the vehicles,” striking the veteran officer, Johnson said. The officer, a 46-year-old man, has received more than 100 departmental awards “for his exemplary police work,” Johnson said.

The suspect got into a vehicle crash before getting out of his vehicle, police said.

A Des Plaines officer chased the suspect into a nearby music school, where they exchanged gunfire. The suspect was killed and the teen boy was wounded. It was not immediately known if the boy was shot by the robbery suspect or the Des Plaines officer.

The 15-year-old was an intern at UpBeat Music and Arts, according to an email sent late Tuesday to the parents of students by owner Scott Barbeau.

“The suspect entered the UpBeat Studio as someone else was leaving. Shots were fired and in the exchange, one of our interns was injured,” Barbeau said, adding he was thankful the boy’s condition had stabilized.

“All other teachers and students were physically safe, thanks to the quick and courageous efforts of our teachers,” he said.

No shots were fired by CPD officers throughout the pursuit.

“My wife and I are asking all Chicagoans to come together and pray for the officer shot this evening, as well as the young individual who was also shot in the crossfire,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters at Illinois Masonic.

Lightfoot noted that Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Mercy Hospital that claimed the lives of a doctor, CPD officer and pharmacy resident.

Kevin Graham, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing rank-and-file officers, said he had spoken with the officer and his family at the hospital since he was wounded.

“Once again, we see another heroic police officer who is not afraid to go into danger, who knew there were shots fired, who knew he was going in to try and protect the people of the city of Chicago and save lives,” Graham said. “And once again, they did an outstanding job and that officer should be commended for his hard work.”

A large police presence flooded the Northwest Side neighborhood for hours after the shooting. Along with a deluge of CPD vehicles, several police cars from Des Plaines and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office could be seen in the area.

Mohamed Munshi has worked for nearly 10 years as a cashier at Convenient Food Mart, which sits directly adjacent to the shooting.

Munshi said he was behind the counter when he saw more than a half dozen cars speed past on Irving Park Road. Immediately after, several gunshots rang out and three or four people ran inside and immediately threw themselves to the ground.

“We were all lying on this floor,” Munshi said. “It was so terrible. It was so terrible. I never saw it before in my life like this.”

Article Org: Chicago.suntimes.com

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