Chicago, IL – Three Chicago-area law enforcement officers were shot in separate attacks within days of one another over the course of the past week, according to police.
The first shooting occurred on June 1, after two uniformed Chicago police officers in a marked patrol car attempted to stop a vehicle near Paulina Street and 61st Street at approximately 5:42 p.m., Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent David Brown told WLS.
The driver of the suspect vehicle initially sped away, then circled back around and pulled up next to the officers’ patrol vehicle and opened fire, Superintendent Brown said.
Bullet fragments also hit her in her head, according to WMAQ.
As the gunmen sped away, the wounded hero’s partner got behind the wheel and rushed her to University of Chicago Hospital, Superintendent Brown said.
Officer Ballesteros, 27, arrived at the hospital in critical condition, WLS reported.
On Monday, she was released from the University of Chicago Medical Center to the cheers of dozens of fellow law enforcement officers and supporters, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“This week has shown me and my family the true brotherhood of the Chicago Police Department, and that the brotherhood extends beyond me to caring and protecting my family as well,” Officer Ballesteros said in a statement. “I am choosing to see the light in this dark time. And I will grow stronger, both physically and mentally, from this tragedy.”
Officer Ballesteros said she is especially thankful for the actions of her partner.
“And most importantly, thank you to Officer Young, my partner who had my back and carried me to safety,” she said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’m forever grateful for his quick thinking and swift response. You were my guardian angel that night.”
The CPD has not reported any arrests in connection with the shooting of Officer Ballesteros.
The second attack occurred on June 2, when 19-year-old Tarrion Johnson allegedly shot a U.S. Marshal and his K9 as they were attempting to arrest Johnson on a warrant for a prior attempted murder charge, according to FOX News.
The shooting occurred at approximately 1:20 p.m. in the 5200-block of West Belmont.
Additional members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Apprehension Team arrested Johnson, who was booked into jail on charges of injury to a police animal, aggravated cruelty to animals, attempted robbery with a firearm, and attempted murder, FOX News reported.
The wounded K9 was rushed to an emergency veterinary hospital’s intensive care unit in unknown condition.
The U.S. marshal suffered a gunshot wound to the hand, but refused treatment, according to FOX News.
The third attack occurred at approximately 2 p.m. on June 5, when three uniformed CPD officers in an unmarked patrol vehicle attempted to stop a driver in the 6900-block of South Sangamon Street, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Superintendent Brown said the suspect vehicle pulled into an alleyway just before the driver got out of the car and opened fire on the officers.
They immediately returned fire, hitting the gunman, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
One of the CPD officers was shot in the arm and torso during the attack, according to police.
The officer was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center and was listed in serious, but stable condition, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The gunman was transported to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition.
Superintendent Brown said investigators are reviewing bodycam and dashcam footage of the officer-involved shooting.
Officer Ballesteros spoke about the latest attack prior to being released from the hospital on Monday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“To my fellow Brother Blue who was recently injured in the line of duty: Don’t ever feel alone because you have a whole line of support from the Blue family that wishes you a speedy recovery,” she said.
Superintendent Brown said offenders have been increasingly “brazen in harming officers,” WLS reported.
“We’ve been repeatedly saying for the last 2.5 years now, offenders have shot at and shot officers at a 500% increase,” the police superintendent told reporters. “The highest number of officers shot at or shot on record in Chicago. His team members are all shook, as well. It’s…the third time this week in Chicago an officer has been shot.”
At least 22 CPD officers have been shot at so far in 2022, WLS reported.
Five officers have been wounded by gunfire.
“We ask for the city to pray and support their officers,” Superintendent Brown said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “Now is a good time to say thank you when you see an officer because we need encouragement right now doing this very, very difficult and dangerous job.”