An off-duty Chicago Police officer shot and killed one of two men who allegedly attacked him after the officer crashed his motorcycle, clipping a young girl who darted into a Maywood street late Saturday, officials said.
The officer -- a 43-year-old, eight-year veteran of the force -- was headed home about 10:30 p.m. when the incident began, Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Pat Camden said. He was driving northbound on First Avenue in Maywood near Madison Street when he saw a young girl, possibly 3 or 4 years old, suddenly dart into the street.
Camden said to avoid hitting the girl head-on, the officer purposely ditched his motorcycle, putting it on its side on the pavement while it was still moving. The motorcycle slipped past the girl, leaving her with abrasions and contusions, he said.
Camden said that as the officer stood up from the pavement, a man approached him “shouting and screaming” and punched him in the face after the officer identified himself as police.
The suspect and another man continued to beat the officer, punching him in his head and kicking him in his head and body on the ground before the officer fired, fatally striking one of the men, Camden said. The man, in his mid-20s, was dead at the scene, he said.
“He was about to lose consciousness to people beating him,” Camden said, defending the actions of the officer, who works in a West Side police district. “He fired in defense of his life.”
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the fatality but said the man -- identified as Christopher Middleton, 26, of the 500 block of South 2nd Avenue -- was pronounced dead at 10:14 p.m. at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.
The girl was taken to an area hospital for observation overnight, but suffered no life-threatening injuries, Camden said. The officer is expected to recover from his injuries, but was left with contusions to his head and body from the attack, and a possible broken leg and broken shoulder from the crash.
Maywood police arrested the other suspect, also in his mid-20s, according to Camden. However, Maywood officials declined to comment early Sunday, and a message left for the police chief was not immediately returned.
Investigators from the Independent Police Review Authority -- which investigates all police-involved shootings -- are currently at the scene gathering information, said IPRA spokesman Larry Merritt.