Chicago, IL – A convicted felon on probation yelled “you will die” after shooting a Chicago police officer in the face outside a bustling strip mall on Monday afternoon.
According to Cook County prosecutors, the series of events leading up to the shooting began when 23-year-old convicted felon Jovan McPherson contacted a 21-year-old woman to give him a ride to run an errand, FOX News reported.
While they were driving, the woman received a call from the father of her child, which allegedly sent McPherson into a rage, prosecutors said.
The felon allegedly took the woman’s cell phone away and pulled a gun on her before holding the weapon against her head and threatening to kill her as they were traveling down the road, FOX News reported.
McPherson allegedly forced the woman to exit the freeway and to pull into the parking lot of a strip mall, where she got out of the vehicle and went into an Ulta Beauty store, according to police.
McPherson followed her inside, but the woman was able to alert a store employee that she needed help, prosecutors said.
Another employee got the attention of the Chicago police officers who happened to be in the parking lot and one officer followed McPherson as he left the store, FOX News reported.
During the interaction that followed, McPherson allegedly yanked the officer’s mask off his face and shoved him before he put him in a “bear hug” and took off back into the store, according to police.
The suspect emerged from the business a moment later and got into the woman’s car.
“I got a gun, too!” he allegedly told the officers as he sat inside the vehicle.
One of the officers asked McPherson where he had the gun, at which point the suspect asked him if he wanted to fight, WFLD reported.
“It was a good gun, too,” the felon noted, according to prosecutors.
McPherson then allegedly drew a firearm from beneath his legs, WFLD reported.
When one of the officers tried to take it from him, McPherson fired the weapon and shot the officer in the face, prosecutors said.
“You will die!” the felon yelled before firing another round, according to prosecutors.
Much of the incident was captured by the officer’s bodycam.
The wounded officer was not hit by the second bullet and managed to wrestle the gun away from his attacker, WFLD reported.
Additional officers arrived at the scene and helped take McPherson into custody.
The suspect claimed police shot at him before he shot the officer, but only two shell casings were found at the scene, prosecutors said.
None of the officers fired their weapons during the ordeal, WFLD reported.
The wounded officer was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the cheek.
He was released to recover at home approximately three hours later, WFLD reported.
Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins said the fact that the officer is expected to recover doesn’t diminish or excuse the attack.
“The good news is the officer’s injuries are not life threatening, but let’s pause and reflect on the fact that it is life-altering,” Hopkins told WFLD in the wake of the attack. “Getting shot in the face is no small matter.”
“This is a stark reminder of the danger these men and women face every day,” he said. “If you can tell I’m a little angry right now, it’s because I am. I don’t know how much more of this we can take.”
Hopkins noted that law enforcement officers feel like they are “under siege” every day, WFLD reported.
“This is the 58th incident where police officers were fired upon this year,” the alderman added. “Twelve of them have been struck – one fatally. It’s absolutely unacceptable and we have to draw a line and say ‘enough is enough.’”
McPherson was arrested on multiple new felonies, including aggravated kidnapping and attempted murder.
He was already on probation for two separate cases at the time of the shooting, WFLD reported.
Those cases involved eluding arrest, fleeing, and drug possession.
McPherson’s next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 9.