LINCOLN PARK — A police officer was shot Monday afternoon near a busy commercial area in Lincoln Park, but he is recovering, officials said.
The officer was shot at the North & Sheffield Commons Mall at 1000 W. North Ave., Supt. David Brown said. Someone at the Ulta Beauty within the shopping center called police because someone inside the store was acting erratic, Brown said.
The officer “immediately responded,” Brown said, and the suspect struggled with the officer outside the store. As the struggle continued into the parking lot, a second officer arrived on the scene. The suspect fired a gun three times, hitting the first officer once, Brown said. The second officer was able to arrest the suspect and get the gun, Brown said.
The shooter was with someone else in the store. Police are questioning that person, Brown said.
Brown said the officer was shot in his face, suffering a through-and-through wound. His wounds are not considered to be life-threatening, Brown said. He was treated at Illinois Masonic Medical Center and released from the hospital later Monday, according to reports.
Neither officer fired a gun during the struggle, Brown said.
“We’re just grateful our officer is in non-life-threatening condition at this point, and we ask the public to continue their prayers for our officer and all the officers for the city of Chicago Police Department,” Brown said.
The investigation is ongoing. Brown said officers were able to respond so quickly because they had been doing extra patrols in response to other incidents, like burglaries in the area, but nothing involving violence.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said the shopping center, which was hit in last summer’s widespread looting, is frequently targeted by shoplifting. But it is unclear whether that has any connection to the Monday’s shooting.
“We’ll have to wait for the investigation to tell us the whys in what happened, but we already know there is no justification for it,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said he was “angry” over the shooting, which he called a “life-altering” event for the officer.
“Getting shot in the face is no small matter, even if you’re going to live from those injuries and fully recover,” Hopkins said. “The job of policing is no longer a safe job if it ever was, and this is a stark reminder of the danger that these men and women face every day.”
A Lincoln Park resident who did not want to share her full name said she was inside her home across the street when she heard two gunshots.
“About five minutes later, I got a call from my husband that all the streets were blocked and cops were coming down Sheffield toward the hospital,” she said. “If they’re going to shoot a police officer, they’ll shoot anybody, and that’s what gives me the chills.”
The neighbor said she had heard about Ulta being targeted by shoplifters and said crime has gone up in the neighborhood over the past year.
“I’ve lived here for about 15 years and I’ve never been nervous to live in the city,” she said. “But in the last year, I’ve been worried to walk to my car or take my purse anywhere. I’ve been much more uneasy.”
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