An off-duty Cook County corrections officer was struck six times on the side of the road early Tuesday as he drove home from work, authorities said. He was one of 11 people injured in shootings on an unseasonably warm night in Chicago.
The officer, a seven-year veteran whose name hasn't been released, was driving on I-57 when he exited the expressway around 3 a.m. because he thought he was being followed, Cook County sheriff's spokesman Frank Bilecki said.
A car followed the officer off the expressway, Bilecki said, and pulled up next to his vehicle. Someone in a hoodie fired at the officer near 95th and State streets, striking him six times.
"He took six bullets, one to the jaw, one to the back and four in the shoulder area," Bilecki said.
The officer was able to drive a short distance to a gas station and make calls to police and his family after the shooting. Chicago Police are investigating the incident, and though Bilecki said there's a possibility it could have been an attempted carjacking, the circumstances are still unknown.
"The officer is stable, resting, was able to talk with family and doctors after his surgery in regards to his jaw area," Bilecki said.
"Our prayers are with him and his family," he said.
In a separate incident Monday night, five people were injured when gunfire erupted at a busy corner in the South Shore neighborhood. The shooting happened just before 6 p.m. in the 7500 block of South Exchange Avenue, outside a Western Union currency exchange store.
Over the weekend eight people were killed and 28 wounded in city violence.
Though the correlation between crime and weather hasn't officially been charted, it's spoken as a general truth in Chicago that violence rises with the temperature, and Monday was unusually warm for the winter month.
Chicago temps clocked in at 70 degrees at O'Hare International Airport, only the third time in the last 141 years that high was reached in December.