A person of interest is being questioned after an off-duty police officer was shot during a robbery attempt early Monday morning.
The Chicago officer was sitting in a parked car near West 102nd Street and South Green Street about 2:30 a.m. in the city’s Washington Heights neighborhood when two men surrounded the vehicle and demanded money, police said.
Not long after, the officer heard one of the men say, "Shoot him," and that's when the officer took action by reaching for his service weapon, according to police.
The robbers and officer exchange gunfire, leaving the officer with a gunshot wound to his right leg. He told police he believes he may have hit at least one of the armed men as they tried to flee, but it was unclear.
The officer was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in serious but stable condition and after undergoing surgery was expected to make a full recovery.
“He’s alert, he’s awake, he’s in relatively good spirits,” said Interim Police Supt. John Escalante. “But I think it’s starting to sink in … how close he came to losing his own life with what happened this morning.”
For hours police searched hospitals to investigate shooting victims and canvassed the area with K-9 units as they tried to find the man who opened fire.
The Independent Police Review Authority has been placed on the case as it involves an officer who fired shots. The Illinois State Police has also joined the investigation.
It is unknown where they found the person of interest who is being questioned.