Chicago, IL – A Home Depot loss prevention officer remains hospitalized in grave condition and a Chicago police officer is recovering at home from a gunshot wound following a shooting inside the Brighton Park Home Depot store on Thursday.
The incident began inside the store in the 2400-block of West 46th Street at approximately 4 p.m. on March 26, when the loss prevention officer allegedly spotted a suspect shoplifting items, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The loss prevention officer, who police said is in his early 50s, was allegedly shot in the head by the suspect during the struggle that ensued, according to investigators.
The wounded guard was rushed to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he remains in grave condition, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Chicago police spotted the accused gunman running from the scene and chased after him on foot.
During the pursuit, the suspect allegedly shot one of the officers, hitting him in the shoulder, police said.
Additional officers continued chasing the gunman, who was fatally shot during an ensuing gun battle with police,
Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent David Brown said during a press conference outside the hospital on Thursday that officers continued chasing the suspect and engaged in a gun battle with him, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The gunfight ended when the suspect was fatally shot by police.
From the officer shot call in Chicago tonight. Stay safe CPD. https://t.co/1CUj1LaC6w
— Crash (@saxman210) March 25, 2021
Officer-involved shooting at 2500 block of W 46th St. with hits to officer & offender. Conditions unknown. CPD Public Information Officer en route to Mt Sinai. Details to follow.
— Chicago Police Communications & News Affairs (@CPD_Media) March 25, 2021
The suspect was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The officer was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital and treated for his gunshot wound.
Superintendent Brown said the four-year CPD veteran was in “good spirits” after the incident, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
His fellow officers gathered en masse outside the hospital on Thursday night, saluting and congratulating him as he was released to recover from his wounds at home.
The officer was able to walk under his own power as he exited the hospital and got into a waiting vehicle, WBBM reported.
The entire Chicago Police Department breathes a collective sigh of relief tonight as our injured officer is released from the hospital after being shot in the line of duty. #CPDMediaCar pic.twitter.com/awCDtvAq3v
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) March 26, 2021
The officer was the fourth Chicago police officer to be shot in the line of duty in the past two weeks, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
He was the 17th Chicago police officer to be shot or shot at so far in 2021, according to WBBM.
“I get questions all the time about what is the department doing about violence, what are we doing about the shootings, what are we doing about the homicides,” Superintendent Brown told reporters outside the hospital, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “What we are doing is risking our lives every day to protect this city.”
Tested, but never broken. I was proud to stand alongside dozens of fellow #ChicagoPolice officers to salute our wounded brother in blue as he left the hospital tonight. Our brave men & women will never shy away from the oath they took in service to our great city. pic.twitter.com/CvYjjH958r
— Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown (@ChiefDavidBrown) March 26, 2021
The police superintendent said it seems offenders “are acting with impunity,” WLS reported.
“I can’t say enough about how much courage and bravery it takes to run toward bullets when others would cower and quit and run the opposite way,” he added, according to WGN. “This is done with great risk.”
Superintendent Brown pointed out that law enforcement officers throughout the nation are “under attack” and have to deal with “hyper-criticism,” yet they “continue to run towards danger… putting their lives on the line every day,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President John Catanzara said those who have been attacking and killing law enforcement officers have been emboldened by the “anti-police” sentiment.
“I’m sick and damn tired of my officers getting shot, and I know this anti-police sentiment is largely responsible for this careless disregard for life, especially for officers in this city,” Catanzara said in the wake of the shooting, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I’d like to see this whole damn city and every elected politician in this city and state start standing up for police and letting criminals know there’s going to be some repercussions for bad behavior; maybe that will stop them,” he suggested.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a tweet Thursday night wishing the officer “a speedy recovery.”
“While we’re relieved to hear he is in good condition, it is absolutely appalling that he was the fourth officer shot in two weeks,” Lightfoot wrote. “A security guard was also shot and is in grave condition. This evening’s incident is another sober reminder of the dangers our officers face to keep their fellow Chicagoans safe. Please keep these two in your prayers.”