Off-duty cop shot in Southwest Side attempted robbery in front of child | Police search for offenders
December 10, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Chicago police are searching for those involved in the shooting of a 34-year-old off-duty officer.
Police say the officer was shot after three men tried to rob him at gunpoint- while he was with his child.
The shooting happened at approximately 12:30 a.m. Monday near 63rd Street and Nashville, the area where the officer lives, according to police.
They say the officer was preparing to take his child out of the backseat of a car when he was approached and attacked. A suspect reportedly tried to rob the officer, and then shots were fired.
"I heard the gunfire, and that's when I looked out the window... and I saw the policeman who was shot. My neighbor [was] walking back and forth screaming that he had been shot on the phone," said neighbor Christine Kulps, who initially thought she heard fireworks next door.
The officer was shot multiple times but suffered only superficial wounds to his left wrist and chest. Authorities say the bullets missed his vital organs.
The child was not injured.
The officer was hospitalized in stable condition at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. Authorities said he was released from the hospital on Monday, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that he is in "good spirits."
"I called the police officer...We had a very good conversation and he is eager to get back to work," Emanuel said.
The officer's name was not released Monday because authorities said they wanted to protect his safety. ABC7 Chicago is told he is a 10-year veteran of the police force, and recently earned a Superintendent's Award of Valor.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy visited the hospital where the officer was recovering with his wife and family overnight.
"He's not positive, but he believes he may have hit the offender. We're looking at robbery patterns, video and anything else in the neighborhood that might match up to this," said McCarthy.
Meanwhile, Chicago police set up a mobile police command center near the scene of the crime, which remained active several hours after the incident. Forensic technicians carefully combed through the crime scene later Monday.
Police dusted the officer's red Nissan for fingerprints hoping to find leads.
The violence seems foreign to many who live in the Clearing neighborhood where the shooting happened.
"This is normally a safe area made up of a lot of city workers, Chicago police, streets and sanitation workers, and normally, it is a safe neighborhood. But the way things are nowadays, there is no neighborhood that is safe," said Charles Johnson, a retired officer who lives nearby.
"It's always disappointing when you hear about these things, and the violence is coming up everywhere, and for what? Usually, it's just senseless," said Bruce Onate, a neighbor.
The Independent Police Review Authority says it is investigating, which is common in officer-involved shootings. So far, they have nothing to report.
No one was in custody Monday. Officers said they were looking for a silver car and the three suspects believed to be connected to the shooting.
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