Two Chicago police officers were shot early Friday morning in what the department is calling an "ambush" attack, according to WBBM-TV. Both were taken to the hospital with injuries that were thankfully not life-threatening, and the suspect was promptly apprehended due to the fortuitous location of an undercover officer who happened to be nearby when the shooting occurred.
According to police reports, the two officers were on their lunch break at the Original Maxwell Street hot dog stand around 3:30am when the shooting occurred. One of the officers, who was standing in line, reportedly saw a man in line ahead of him reach into his pants apparently looking for money to pay for his hot dog, when a gun fell out of his waistband and landed on the ground. Before the officer could even react to this startling development, the man fired shots at the police officer, grazing him in the head. The man also fired at least three shots at the officer's partner, who was sitting in a parked car nearby, hitting him in the leg.
Police Superintendent David Brown said, "Police did not fire any shots. They were really ambushed. When the offender dropped the gun before they could react, he began shooting. So they had no time to react."
The officer who was grazed in the head was treated briefly at Mt. Sinai hospital and then released. The officer who was struck in the head is expected to need to spend the weekend in the hospital, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Fortunately, an undercover officer happened to be nearby and the suspect was quickly apprehended, and a weapon was recovered.
The incident "really highlights the dangers of this job, split seconds, really shows the stark dangers of being a cop," according to Brown.
Chicago police say that they were fired upon 80 times in 2020, and another 76 times in 2021.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement, "These are the third and fourth officers to be shot at or shot already in 2022, following 76 CPD officers being shot or shot at in 2021. This morning’s attack is a stark reminder of the incredible dangers that our police officers face on a daily basis in order to keep our city safe. It also underscores that there are way too many people carrying illegal firearms and proves why diligent law enforcement action against illegal firearm possession is essential to our public safety."
Lightfoot continued, "To the officers who woke up today to this unnerving news and proceeded to put on their uniforms and report for duty: your heroism cannot be overstated, and your city owes you a tremendous debt of gratitude."