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Off-duty Chicago Police officer fires shot at men running at his car on North Side

Off-duty Chicago Police officer fires shot at men running at car on North Side
Off-duty Chicago Police officer fires shot at men running at car on North Side 02:29

CHICAGO (CBS) -- An off-duty Chicago Police officer fired a shot in a Lincoln Park neighborhood alley Thursday afternoon after two people – one of them armed – ran up to his car, police said.

There is no indication that the shot hit anyone.

Chicago Police filled the area around Halsted Street and Schubert Avenue when someone called 911 after hearing a gunshot. The caller said a man had fired shots in the alley – and thought the man's vehicle might have been stolen.

The off-duty Chicago police sergeant's back Jeep was not actually stolen. But it was stopped and pulled over in an alley nearby because of what had happened.

At 3:18 p.m., the 51-year-old off-duty officer was driving north in the alley behind Halsted Street, between Schubert Avenue and Diversey Parkway, when he saw two people running toward his car, police said.

The officer saw one of the men running up had a visible gun, police said.

The officer got out of his car, took out his own gun, and fired one shot, police said. Both men ran off.

It appears the suspects may have tried a new tactic involving trapping the officer in the alley. Witnesses said just before the men ran at the officer, they were seen blocking the exit to the alley and preventing anyone from leaving.

"Unfortunately, it's not surprising," said Olivia Owens.

Police spent much of the afternoon and evening investigating the shooting right next to Owens' building.

"I'm thankful to hear that no one was injured," Owens said. "That's the best-cast scenario when something like this pops off – that everyone walked away safe."

Over in Belmont Cragin – some six and a half miles to the west – a woman walked away completely frightened Thursday morning.

The victim was parking her car just before 1 a.m., in the 6000 block of West Wellington Avenue – near Meade Avenue – when four men, all carrying guns, came up and forced her out of the car, police said.

Police said one of the men jumped in the woman's sport-utility vehicle and the others took off in a different car. There were no injuries in that case either.

But the two incidents have left many on the North Side on alert.

"Things happen everywhere. It's a big city, so more chance of something to happen," said Owens. "It's unfortunate."

Following the Lincoln Park incident, police were called to the 700 block of West Diversey Parkway – just to the north and east – to in the search for the suspects. But no one was in custody Thursday night.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating, since the officer fired a shot. As per protocol, the officer has also been placed on 30-day administrative duties.

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