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Trooper shoots suspected car thief

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A suspected gunman and an Illinois State Police trooper are hospitalized after a shooting led to a police chase on Chicago's South Side Tuesday night.

An ISP trooper attempted to make a traffic stop for a stolen red Pontiac with Indiana plates at 10:08 p.m. at 59th and Wells Streets, according to Illinois State Police District Chicago Trooper Ivan Bukaczyk.

A gunman inside the car fired shots at the trooper, and the trooper returned fire, striking the gunman, Bukaczyk said.

Bukaczyk did not know if the trooper saw the car on the Dan Ryan and followed it off the expressway.

After the gunfire was exchanged, the car fled the scene and the trooper pursued it a few blocks when a "crash" happened, Bukaczyk said. In the crash, the Pontiac struck the trooper, injuring his leg, according to Englewood District Lt. Steve Masters.

The shooter and another person in the Pontiac fled on foot, but the injured trooper could not pursue, Bukaczyk said.

Chicago police took up the chase and located the shooter, Bukaczyk said. Police found the car abandoned near 72nd Street and Normal Avenue, Masters said. The shooter was found, collapsed, by Chicago officers about a block away at 72nd Street and Stewart Avenue, according to Masters.

The trooper was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with a leg injury, while the shooter -- who was in police custody -- was taken to Christ Medical Center with a gunshot, Masters said.

It was unknown if the second person in the Pontiac was still at large, Bukaczyk said.

The suspect who shot at the trooper suffered more than one gunshot, but the injuries were not thought to be life threatening, according to a Wentworth Area detective.

Illinois State Police are investigating the traffic violation, but Chicago police are investigating the shooting and chase, Sanchez said.

Sun-Times News Group Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2006

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