Police Officer Shot On South Side Officer Likely Saved Thanks To Bulletproof Vest

http://cbs2chicago.com/video/?id=24386@wbbm.dayport.com

(CBS) CHICAGO A Chicago Police officer was alive Tuesday morning thanks to his bulletproof vest, after being shot on the South Side near Washington Park.

As CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports, police were still searching for the gunman as of 5 a.m., and the probationary officer he shot was in good condition. Probationary officers are defined as those who have been on the job less than a year and a half.

The shooting occurred around 1 a.m. Tuesday. Police said a Wentworth District squad car was responding to calls about a man with a gun in the area of 51st Street and King Drive.

When officers arrived at the scene, they saw someone who fit the description. He took off running, and a probationary officer chased him to a nearby building.

“A probationary police officer chased him on foot -- ran to the middle of the building – the middle of the courtyard,” police News Affairs Deputy Director Pat Camden said. “(He) started to go in after the offender -- the offender turned around opened fire hitting the police officer at least twice.”

Police confirmed the officer, who returned fire, was shot twice in the back, but the bullets did not penetrate thanks to the officer’s protective vest. He only suffered bruises and contusions, Camden said.

The officer went to the hospital as a precautionary measure. By 5:30 a.m., he had been discharged.

Meanwhile, the search was on early Tuesday for the man who shot the officer. Police even used a Fire Department ladder to look on the roof of the building.

The protective vest that police say kept the officer safe is a mandatory part of the uniform.