An off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s officer is in critical condition after being shot on the Southwest Side of Chicago on Wednesday night. According to Chicago police and fire officials, a suspect is now in custody. The incident occurred around 8:52 p.m. in the 4700-block of West 47th Street near Midway Airport.
The 37-year-old off-duty officer was struck by stray bullets while in traffic, sustaining injuries to the right elbow and lower back. Authorities have confirmed that the officer was not the intended target. He was immediately transported to Mt. Sinai hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
Police believe the officer was caught in the crossfire of two vehicles exchanging gunfire while driving north on Cicero Avenue. The sound of gunshots startled neighbors, with one witness describing the scene as “just gunshots going off.” Multiple crashes also occurred as a result of the shooting. One of the offending vehicles collided with another vehicle traveling southbound, lost control, and crashed into a nearby business wall.
Following a short foot chase, authorities apprehended a suspect who is currently in stable condition. There have been no reports of any other injuries. However, the second vehicle involved in the incident managed to escape. Area One detectives are now leading the investigation.
Residents in the area expressed their concerns about the impact of the incident on their community. Veronica Carapia, a witness, shared her worries about the shooting. She said, “Kids can’t come out and play no more because of it. Kids go in, go out, and we have to keep an eye on them now.”
Authorities are hopeful that the presence of police pod cameras and a red light camera at the intersection will aid in tracking down the vehicle that fled the scene. Law enforcement agencies are also urging anyone with information to come forward and help with the ongoing investigation.