A little more than a day after a police officer was shot responding to a call in suburban Park Forest, the Park Forest Police Department released an update and heartfelt message about the incident.
Officer Tim Jones was shot Saturday morning around 5:40 a.m. in the 300 block of Neola St, investigating a break-in and a stolen vehicle, according to police.
Officers discovered there was a person inside the vacant residence, and a perimeter was set up around the building, said Officer Christopher Mannino, Deputy Chief of Police for the Park Forest Police Department. The suspect tried to leave the house through a window, and as officers attempted to detain him, he produced a handgun and began firing, police say.
Park Forest Police confirmed that officers returned fire, striking the suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Jones was transported to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields and then air lifted to Christ Medical Center with "life-threatening injuries," according to police. On Sunday, the Park Forest Police Department shared touching messages about his condition and the support he has received.
After thanking everyone for their support and kind words, the Department spoke of challenges the officers face in the job and the community they protect.
"We continue to have an important job to do, serving and protecting the people of Park Forest, and no matter when or where you are reading this, you can be sure we are out there doing that very job," the post continues. "We are a small, tree-lined community tucked among the many Chicago suburbs and a stone's throw from the Indiana state line, and while we have experienced the same challenges facing the rest of the region, we will continue to work hard to keep Park Forest the friendly, livable community it has always been."
This isn't a press release. It's just us getting back to what we do best on social media- having a conversation with... Posted by Park Forest Police Department on Sunday, March 20, 2016
The Park Forest Police Department also tweeted an image of Jones Sunday night, keeping a "vigil of hope" for the wounded officer.
With 36 hours behind us, we continue to keep a vigil of hope for Ofc Jones. Thank you for the continued support. pic.twitter.com/0wKmiKSKOQ — Park Forest Police (@ParkForestPD) March 20, 2016
Jones has been with the department for about a year, and he comes from a law enforcement family: his father is the police chief for Country Club Hills.
On Saturday night, authorities identified the deceased suspect as 21-year-old Thurman Reynolds of Park Forest.
The incident is under investigation by the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force, police say.