Three female officers of the Chicago Police Department were credited with saving an off-duty officers life.
The off-duty officer was shot at through his vehicle when he was stopped at a light in the Calumet Heights Neighborhood on March 16. According to NBC 5 News, offenders pulled up beside him and started firing rounds into his personal car. The unidentified off-duty officer was hit in the stomach, sustaining injuries to his small and large bowel.
The three female CPD officers responded to the scene immediately after receiving ShotSpotter alerts. After arriving, they quickly identified the victim as a 4th District police officer.
The three officers hoisted the wounded officer into their squad car and took him to the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Chicago Police Superintendent lauded the officers’ heroic and life-saving actions, crediting their “quick-thinking” and reflecting on the heart-warming scene following.
“When the family arrived here and learned of what happened, just the hugs and tears, mother and grandmother… that they shared with these three women,” Brown said during a news briefing at the hospital.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also met with the officer’s family and praised the three officers, saying, “Unfortunately this event reminds of the dangers our officers face every single day, whether on or off duty, and we just have to say a prayer for this officer and his family.”
In an unrelated press conference soon after the shooting, she said “[Police officers] have a very, very difficult job, they’re one of the few city employees that actually run towards danger, and we can never underestimate the difficulties or the stressors that they face every single day. They’re providing assistance to our residents in our city at a time of their greatest need, and they’re, as a consequence, seeing incredible trauma and stress.”
The wounded officer, a 4-year veteran, was immediately taken into surgery and was in recovery several hours later. Dr. Susan Rowell, a University of Chicago Medicine trauma surgeon, said the officer was doing well.
Police said that an investigation into the incident was ongoing, but that there were several different “narratives,” including misidentification, road rage, or a carjacking, adding that it was “too early to tell.”
The shooting of a police officer was the second in two days for the city of Chicago. Another occurred near the 6th District police station, where an officer was shot at in a parking lot and received a graze wound to his face.
The shootings are a reminder of the dangers of working as a police officer and the importance of being aware of one’s surroundings. Brown said, “This highlights the dangers of — although on yesterday, obviously, the officer was in uniform, today, this was an off-duty incident — but it just highlights the dangers. We all need to be aware of our surroundings, and again, we need to have real consequences for offenders when we catch them is really my bottom-line statement about things.”