ALBANY PARK — A man has been charged with shooting an on-duty firefighter Sunday in Albany Park, police said.
Hollis Williams, 29, was arrested Thursday night in the 2800 block of West Irving Park Road, police said.
Police are still searching for a second suspect who was allegedly shooting in the firefighter’s direction and another person who was with them at the time of the shooting, Police Supt. Charlie Beck said.
At about 1 a.m. Sunday, two people set a car on fire near 3400 West Wilson Avenue and fled the scene, police said. Four people — three men and one woman — came out of the building to find the car on fire and firefighters working to put the fire out, said Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.
“It appears they targeted their car to draw them out,” Deenihan said.
The woman who exited the building got into a car and drove away from the scene when two people — not the men who exited the building with her — fired shots in her direction, Deenihan said. Gunfire was then exchanged between the men who exited the building with the woman and the men firing at the woman’s car, police said.
During the shooting exchange, the 36-year-old firefighter was shot in his left leg. He was immediately taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment, Deenihan said. All of the shooters then fled the scene.
After reviewing security footage from cameras in the area, police said they believed the firefighter was not the intended target. Officers later found three guns in a first-floor apartment at 3359 W. Wilson Ave., police said.
The narcotics officers in the area were very familiar with this building, Deenihan said. They arrested Williams at 11 p.m. Thursday, but not without a fight.
Before he was arrested, Williams, in a car, rammed a police sergeant’s car and ran over another officer’s foot as he tried to flee the scene, Deenihan said. Williams eventually ran from his car and dropped a gun while running from officers, which they later recovered, Deenihan said.
Detectives interviewed other people who said Williams and another person — who has yet to be arrested — were responsible for shooting the firefighter, Deenihan said. Williams was then charged.
The firefighter is now recovering at home, Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II said.
“He is in good spirits. I spoke with him yesterday, he’s doing …quite well,” Ford said.
After the shooting, neighbors gathered with police and elected officials Tuesday to discuss the recent violence. Some blamed squatters living at 3359 W. Wilson Ave., where they said drug sales were rampant.
A landlord for the building said he’s been trying to remove the squatters for a month but was unsuccessful until police found guns on the property.
After public outcry, the 17th police district has also ramped up patrols in the area.
Less than a week after a firefighter was shot, another car fire was reported on the same block early Friday.
Officers on patrol noticed the car fire at about 2 a.m. Friday at 3355 W. Wilson Ave. — just outside the apartment building that has been blamed for recent violence in the area.
On Saturday, police said the car fires do not appear to be connected at this time.
Williams is expected to appear in bond court Saturday.