Local and Federal investigators are trying to determine how the would-be assailant of three Chicago Police Officers obtained a gun which should have been in the possession of a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy.
That deputy has been fired, in the midst of an investigation of how his gun was used in the incident.
Miraculously, all three officers survived the barrage of gunfire in the 3700 block of West Polk street with minor wounds. The alleged assailant, 29-year-old Lamar Harris, was shot and killed. But when investigators ran a routine trace of the weapon used in the shooting, it came back to that Sheriff’s Deputy in Lake County, who previously worked as a Chicago Police officer. And police say he was unable to account for why he no longer had it.
A source close to the investigation tells NBC5 Investigates, that police are looking into the possibility of a so-called “straw purchase,” where the deputy might have possibly purchased the weapon for Harris, who as a convicted felon, was prohibited from making such a purchase. But those same investigators cautioned that is only one scenario being explored.
The deputy has not been charged. But sources say that after learning he had purchased at least 46 other weapons, they have demanded to know where those guns are now.
Hired just last January in Lake County, the officer was fired last Friday.
“When this information came to light it caused us concern,” Lake County Undersheriff Ray Rose told NBC5. “When we looked into this, this is the foundation of why he’s no longer employed by the sheriff’s office.”
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi would say only that the investigation remains active.
"While we are not in a position to publicly comment on the specifics thus far,” he said, “detectives are aggressively investigating the circumstances in which this deputy's personal firearm got into the hands of a convicted felon to shoot 3 Chicago Police officers."