CHICAGO (CBS) -- An off-duty police officer was in the right place at the right time Monday to stop a robbery in progress in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.
A spokesperson for the police union says the off duty officer had no choice but to shoot when the suspect reached for a gun the officer saw in the man's pocket.
For hours today Chicago Police processed the crime scene inside a Walgreens at Milwaukee and Foster after an off-duty police officer walked in on a robbery in progress around 11 a.m. The officer, whose family was in a car in the parking lot, had just stopped by to use the ATM.
"As he is standing at the ATM, he looks over at the young lady at the cash register, and she's frantically putting money into a bag," said FOP spokesperson Pat Camden.
Camden says the officer realized immediately the store was being robbed.
"He pulls his weapon out, walks over, 'Chicago police get down on your knees.' The guy looks at him, drops down to his knees," said Camden.
But Camden says as the suspect dropped to his knees, the officer saw a gun in the man's pocket.
"The guy looks up at him and says 'I'm not going in. You're going to have to shoot me,' starts reaching into his pocket for the handgun."
And that's when Camden says the officer fired, striking the suspect once in the upper body.
"This is a prime example of a veteran police officer, a Chicago police officer off-duty serving and protecting," said Camden.
Based on the description of the suspect Chicago police are investigating whether he's linked to several other robberies in this area.
The suspect was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
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