Chicago, IL – A 15 year-veteran of the Chicago Police Department was shot multiple times by a domestic violence suspect on Friday morning in an ambush that occurred as soon as the elevators door opened.
The incident began at about 8:30 a.m. on July 1 when a mother received a text from her daughter that read “Call u please Call the police. Right here moma. It’s ok. 1342 W. Taylor,” WBBM reported.
The mother called 911 immediately and officers responded to an apartment building in the city’s Little Italy that houses a branch of the Chicago Public Library on its first floor.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters at a press briefing afterwards that officers took an elevator to the floor where the disturbance had been reported, according to WBBM.
Superintendent Brown said that 27-year-old Jalen Vales opened fire on police the second they stepped out of the elevator.
He said video footage of the incident made it clear the officers were “ambushed,” WBBM reported.
“This wasn’t a matter of police tactics. They were ambushed, clearly,” the superintendent said. “The offender had intentions to harm them.”
“The best laid plans don’t account for being ambushed by someone who’s intending to harm you as soon as you get off an elevator,” Superintendent Brown added.
Police did not return fire and the suspect fled the scene, WBBM reported.
A foot chase through the city ensued and Vales was apprehended on Washburne Avenue, just a few blocks from where he shot the officer.
— Joanie Lum FOX 32 (@JoanieLum) July 1, 2022
Police recovered a gun at the scene, WBBM reported.
A University of Illinois – Chicago police officer who had also responded to the domestic violence call helped transport the wounded officer to Stroger Hospital.
Superintendent Brown said the wounded hero was in serious condition with multiple gunshot wounds, WBBM reported.
He said the officer was shot once in the torso and multiple times in the arm.
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said he had spoken to the wounded officer’s wife and the hero was in a lot of pain, WBBM reported.
“He’s stable. He’s alert. He’s going in for some exploratory surgery to see if there’s any damage that they can’t see right now,” Catanzara said on Friday.
He said the officer had no time to react and hadn’t even unholstered his weapon when he was shot, WBBM reported.
“The elevator doors opened, and the offender just started shooting. He tried to kill him,” the union boss said. “Thankfully he was not successful.”
Vales was charged with two felony counts of attempted first-degree murder and one felony count of aggravated battery to a peace officer, WBBM reported.
He was due to appear in bond court on Saturday.
The wounded officer, who is assigned to the 12th District, was the sixth Chicago police officer shot this year, WBBM reported.
On the ground in Chicago for @townhallcom to document the shootings that will be taking place during Independence Day weekend. First up, a Chicago police officer was shot in the Near West Side this morning and was taken to the hospital. pic.twitter.com/JIFUCFSbwN
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) July 1, 2022
“It hasn’t been more dangerous in decades, but it also highlights the bravery and courage that our officers exhibit every day to include their dedication and commitment to protecting the people of Chicago,” Superintendent Brown told reporters.