Chicago police identify man suspected of shooting and seriously wounding an officer in Englewood

A man with an arrest record for gun crimes is suspected of shooting and seriously wounding a Chicago police officer in Englewood Wednesday evening.

The 28-year-old man, who remains at large, is identified in a police alert as the gunman who opened fire on a marked Chicago police car around 5:45 pm in the 6100 block of South Paulina Street.

Two officers in the car had tried to stop a blue car but it sped off, then slowed until the officers were alongside, according to police. Shots were fired from the car and the officer behind the wheel was hit in the shoulder.

Her partner jumped into the driver’s seat and took her to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she was listed in serious condition. Her name has not been released.

Two people fled on foot after crashing the car near 64th and Bishop streets. A SWAT team searched nearby buildings but no one was arrested. A gun and car keys were recovered near the scene, according to Police Supt. David Brown.

The suspected gunman lives less than two miles from the shooting, according to the alert. The Sun-Times is not naming him because he has not been charged.

Court records show he was arrested in October of 2020 after he was spotted speeding and running red lights on the South Side. Arresting officers found a Smith and Wesson handgun under the driver’s side floor mat.

The man was charged with unlawful use of a weapon because he had no FOID card or concealed carry license. Those charges were dropped earlier this year, apparently after the owner of the car and the gun provided both a FOID card and concealed carry license.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) — who represents the ward where the shooting occurred and where the wounded officer’s family lives — characterized the shooting as an “assassination attempt.”

“Having anyone drive up alongside an officer … this was basically an assassination attempt. There’s nothing unintentional about what happened,” Lopez said.

The shooting occurred less than a mile from where Chicago Police Officer Ella French was killed and her partner seriously wounded Aug. 7 last year in West Englewood. The officers were shot during a traffic stop at 63rd Street and Bell Avenue and returned fire, hitting and wounding at least one suspect, police said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement Wednesday night calling the latest shooting an “outrageous attack.”

“My family and I will be praying for the injured officer and the entire department as they grapple with yet another heinous and deliberate assault on our officers’ lives,” the statement read. “I have asked the superintendent to use every resource possible to find the person responsible for this attempted murder of a police officer and bring them to justice.”

Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th) also released a statement Wednesday evening asking residents to share any information they may have.

“Today’s senseless shooting has placed a dark cloud over our city tonight,” the statement read. “There is no bigger cheerleader of our ‘good’ police officers than me. I am appealing to any of our residents who may have witnessed this cowardly act to dial 911 and give a detailed statement of what was witnessed.”

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