Two veteran tactical officers are being credited with capturing three gang members armed with pistols and a machine-gun type of assault weapon before they hurt someone early Sunday in the Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side.
A man flagged down police about 3:30 a.m. in the 4700 block of West Washington Boulevard after one of the three suspects pointed a gun at him before fleeing in a white Cadillac sedan, according to police.
Area 4 midnight Tactical Officers Rick Caballero and his partner John McKenna gave chase in an unmarked police car until the three suspects bailed from the car in a field in the 300 block of North Pulaski Road.
Police said the partners grabbed two of them and placed them under arrest without incident while the third jumped a fence and fled on foot to the home of an acquaintance in 300 block of North Avers Avenue, which he ran into to try and escape.
The house was surrounded by police, including McKenna and Caballero, Harrison District beat officers and K-9 units. Officers entered the house and found the third suspect on the second floor about 3:45 a.m. and he was arrested.
Caballero and McKenna recovered three guns on the scene at the Pulaski Road address, including two pistols and a compact machine gun, similar to a M.A.C.-10 according to police. No one was hurt in the incident.
A law enforcement source close to the investigation commended the officers’ work in the arrests of the suspects, all of whom are convicted felons and gang members.
"We think they were out to do somebody harm and these guys prevented a shooting, if not a homicide," the source said.
The source described the work of Caballero, who has about 13 years on the job, and McKenna who has been with the police force for eight years, as nothing short of "fantastic."
The three suspects are from the city and are being questioned, but not charged as of 10 a.m.
Harrison Area detectives are investigating.