Three young children in the back seat of a car had an uncomfortably close view of a police-involved shooting during a traffic stop on the Far South Side early Saturday.
When all was said and done, the driver of a late-model Jaguar was shot while trying to speed away, and the officer who shot him from the passenger seat was realizing the children were probably witness, a police union official said.
“The car (crashes) up over a curb and the really surprising thing is after the smoke clears the officer realizes there’s three young kids in the back of the car,” said Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police.
The man was shot because he tried to pull a gun on the officer, Camden said.
Police say that about 1 a.m. officers pulled over the Jaguar in the 9400 block of South Harbor Avenue in the Calumet Heights neighborhood.
Two men – the driver and a passenger – were ordered out of the car for a pat-down search by the two-man police team, Camden said.
Suddenly, the driver jumped back in the car, attempting to flee. An officer on the passenger side dove in an open door to stop him, Camden said.
In the struggle that followed, the man tried to pull a gun from his waistband before the officer drew his own gun and shot him, according to a statement from police News Affairs. The driver then lost control of the car and crashed into a curb, Camden said.
Both officers, who were bruised up in the scuffle, as well as the driver were taken to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn for treatment, Camden said. The man’s condition is not known, he said.
The driver’s relationship with the children could not be immediately determined by police, but an aunt of the children showed up at the scene to take custody of the kids, Camden said.
A representative for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services could not be reached early Saturday to determine if the children were placed in protective custody.
Police say the Independent Police Review Authority, which reviews all officer-involved shootings, is conducting an investigation.