A man was shot dead by an off-duty Chicago police officer outside the officer’s South Chicago neighborhood home when he tried to run the officer over with a van he had used to ram into the officer’s garage.
About 7 a.m., the officer was at home with his wife in the 7900 block of South Chappel Avenue, when he heard a crashing sound, police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said. At the same time, an alarm inside the home went off, according to Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden.
The officer looked out toward the garage and saw the garage door in the alley was ajar, Camden said. He also saw two men walking near the garage. He put on a police shirt, grabbed his gun, and he and his wife went to their car which was parked in front of their home, Camden said. They drove around the block and into the alley, where they then saw those two men inside a white van, Camden said. The man behind the wheel of the van was attempting to force the garage door open by ramming it with the van.
The officer parked his car behind the van, which was perpendicular to the garage, got out of the car, announced that he is a police officer, and told the men they were under arrest, Camden said. The man behind the wheel of the van then backed up and drove into the officer’s car, which his wife was sitting in, knocking the officer to the ground. He then put the van back into drive and tried to ram into the garage again. The driver of the van then aimed the vehicle at the officer and his car, and was about to run the officer over when the officer, in fear for his and his wife’s lives, shot the man.
Derrick Suttle, 47, of the 7700 block of South Luella Avenue, was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn at 8:07 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The other man in the van jumped out of the van, jumped over a garbage can, and ran off, Camden said.
The officer suffered injuries to his leg when he was knocked down to the ground by the van, according to Camden. He was being checked out at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Camden said.
The Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates all police-involved shootings, is investigating, as are detectives.