The Chicago Police Department is requesting the public’s help in the hunt for at least two gunmen who ambushed an off-duty police officer as he sat in his vehicle in the city’s Calumet Heights neighbourhood.
On Monday, an officer who was stopped at a traffic light while off-duty in his personal vehicle was ambushed when suspects pulled behind and alongside him and fired shots inside, wounding him in the abdomen, ABC 7 Chicago reports.
According to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, police were alerted by ShotSpotter technology and responded to the scene. They transported the officer to a nearby hospital. The 32-year-old officer underwent surgery on Monday and is in fair condition.
"He remained stable throughout the entire case, and he's currently doing well," said Dr. Susan Rowell, a trauma surgeon at University of Chicago Medical Center, where the officer was treated.
"We heard some rumors about a carjacking. We don't know at this point," Supt. Brown said. "Circumstances suggest several different narratives of what this might be, could be a misidentification, and it could be road rage, could be carjacking. We just don't know, it's too early to tell given the circumstances."
Police say that the motive for the shooting remains unclear and have requested the public’s help in finding the shooters and more information about the shooting.
Police say that they are also looking at several businesses in the area which may have captured the instance on surveillance video, as well as city security cameras.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated, "Unfortunately this event reminds us of the dangers that our officers face every single day, whether on or off duty."
This is the second unprovoked shooting of a police officer in the Chicago area in the span of just two days. On Sunday, a police sergeant was wounded when he was shot in the parking lot of a Gresham police station. The sergeant was treated for a graze wound after perpetrators shot at his face, and released from the hospital later Sunday evening.
As with Monday’s shooting, no suspects are in custody and detectives are currently investigating the incident.