A Chicago police sergeant is facing a felony charge after she allegedly opened fire when a team of thieves made off with her SUV Saturday evening in suburban Evergreen Park.
Oneta Sampson Carney, 58, was charged with a single count of reckless discharge of a firearm, according to a bond proffer that identifies her as an off-duty Chicago cop.
She was ordered held on $5,000 bail during her initial court hearing Sunday.
About 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Sampson Carney and her husband were loading groceries into her 2016 Toyota 4Runner in the parking lot of a Sam’s Club store at 9400 S. Western Ave., prosecutors said in the proffer. As the 4Runner sat parked and running with its hatch open, three males approached it.
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Two of the suspects asked the couple if they needed help while their accomplice jumped inside the SUV and drove off, prosecutors said. The two others then ran off as Carney Sampson and her husband gave chase.
The driver then stopped as one of his accomplices ran toward the SUV, prosecutors said. That’s when Sampson Carney allegedly fired a single shot using a 9mm handgun that struck the ground behind the SUV as it took off.
At the time, children and other people were present in the parking lot and another vehicle was driving down the same aisle, prosecutors said.
The thieves “made good on their escape,” prosecutors said, and none of them displayed a weapon or made any threats to Sampson Carney or her husband. The incident was caught on video surveillance.
Sampson Carney called 911 to report the theft but didn’t report that she’d discharged her weapon until officers arrived at the scene, prosecutors said. Officers then recovered a shell casing and Sampson Carney’s gun, which was one round short of being fully loaded.
The crime news blog CWB Chicago first reported that Sampson Carney had been charged. The outlet also reported that her private attorney announced in court that her client is a 19-year veteran of the police force who currently serves as a sergeant.
Her full name listed in the proffer doesn’t appear in city records, but a sergeant named Oneta Sampson does, earning an annual salary of $118,998.
A police spokesperson said it was unclear whether the department had been informed of the arrest and didn’t respond to questions about the differing names.
Sampson Carney and her attorney, Donna Dowd, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Investigators believe the stolen SUV was later recovered Saturday night in the Loop, a Chicago police source said.
Chicago police previously reported that officers observed a white Toyota 4Runner that matched the description of a vehicle that was hijacked in Evergreen Park. The 4Runner ultimately came to a stop about 8:35 p.m. after rear-ending another vehicle in the 200 block of West Wacker Drive. Six suspects, including a 26-year-old man and five juveniles, were then taken into custody after attempting to flee.
In a statement, Evergreen Park police said multiple suspects, including several juveniles, were arrested by Chicago police in connection to the earlier incident in the southwest suburb but didn’t provide any other details.