LITTLE ITALY — The police officer who was shot earlier this month in what Supt. David Brown called an “ambush” is home from the hospital, officials said.
The 12th District officer has been identified as Jaime Avila, a 15-year veteran of the force, according to his family’s GoFundMe page. His family wrote he came home Saturday after eight days in the hospital.
Avila was shot around 8:30 a.m. July 1, when he and other officers were responding to a domestic violence call in the 1300 block of West Taylor Street, Brown said. As soon as officers stepped off an elevator, someone shot at them, Brown said.
“They were ambushed,” Brown said at the time. “This wasn’t a matter of police tactics; they were ambushed, clearly. Offender had intentions to harm them.”
Brown said there is video of the shooting that “confirms” the officers were ambushed, though it has not been publicly released.
Avila was shot five times and taken to Stroger Hospital in serious condition. One of the gunshots went in through his arm, broke two ribs, punctured and collapsed one of his lungs and exited through his back, his family said. He has nerve damage to his left arm leaving him with a “limited range of motion that will require ongoing medical attention,” according to his family.
“Jaime is extremely grateful for his second chance at life and for all the amazing support,” his family wrote. “He is now focused on his long road to recovery and getting back to moving his fingers so he can get back to playing his guitar.”
Avila or his family couldn’t immediately be reached for additional comment.
Jalen Vales, 27, was ordered held on $2 million bail the following day on charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery against a police officer being an armed habitual criminal.
Avila’s family said he’s a father of four and a U.S. Army Veteran who served in the Iraq War. Despite being in the hospital, Avila and his wife celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary.
“While the circumstances were unfortunate, they were grateful to celebrate by his hospital chair with cake and singing by the amazing Officers of the Chicago Police Special Activities Section,” family wrote on the GoFundMe.
Several local law enforcement officers have been shot in recent weeks.
Two Chicago police officers from the Englewood district, as well as a U.S. Marshal and a K-9 were seriously wounded in separate shootings over the course of one week in June. Both Chicago police officers, who were shot during traffic stops, recovered from their wounds and were released from hospitals. A man has been charged in connection to one of the shootings, according to a release from the Chicago Police Department last month.
The marshal and the dog also have recovered, federal officials said.
An off-duty Chicago officer was shot Friday night after trying to break up a Beverly bar fight that spilled into the street, prosecutors said. Danny Golden, a six-year member of the department, was shot in his back and is paralyzed from the abdomen down, prosecutors said.
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