A man believed to be part of a group suspected of breaking into trucks while they were in traffic on the South Side and who was possibly involved in the armed robbery of one of those truck drivers, was shot by police in the West Englewood neighborhood Saturday morning as he struggled with an officer following a police chase.
The shooting happened about 11:15 a.m. at 55th Street and Ashland Avenue.
Prior to the incident, police had broadcast an all-call message for officers to be on the lookout for a gray SUV that may have been involved in cartage thefts and possibly an armed robbery of a truck driver in the area of 55th Street and Ashland, according to Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden.
An officer in a squad car saw a vehicle matching the description of that SUV and began a pursuit east on 55th Street, Camden said. The driver of the SUV lost control of the vehicle and crashed just east of Ashland on 55th Street, striking a street pole. There were multiple people in the SUV and they all went running following the crash, Camden said.
An officer caught one of the suspects, who struggled with the officer, and at one point he “slams the officer to the ground,” Camden said. The two continued to struggle on the ground and another officer came over to assist. The man then pulled “a black object out of his pocket,” at which point one of the officers shot him.
The man was taken at 11:18 a.m. to Saint Bernard Hospital, according to a Fire Media Affairs spokesman. Information on the person’s condition was not immediately available. As of about 1:15 p.m. the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office had not been called to report that he had died, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said.
The two officers were injured -- though they were not shot -- and were taken to Mercy Hospital to be treated, Camden said.
Camden said that the cartage thefts that had been taking place involved people breaking into trucks as they were stopped at traffic lights. One of these reportedly consisted of a truck driver robbed at gunpoint, he said.
Trouble flared up at the scene of the shooting a couple hours later. About 1:40 p.m., multiple 10-1 calls, which are emergency calls for an officer needing assistance, were broadcast over police radio for the area of 55th and Ashland. According to dispatch reports, the calls, which were for a crowd which spanned about two blocks, as far as 55th and Racine, came after unruly people began throwing bricks, rocks and bottles at police.
The CTA’s No. 55 Garfield and No. 9 Ashland buses were temporarily rerouted around the scene of the shooting as police investigated.