Chicago police were questioning three people and were searching for others after two plainclothes officers were wounded Tuesday night in the Back of the Yards neighborhood when gunmen began firing "indiscriminately" at them, authorities said.
Both Deering District officers were shot with a "high-powered weapon," police said. One officer was hit in the arm and hip, the other in the back.
The officers were sitting in an unmarked car in the 4300 block of South Ashland Avenue around 9 p.m., following up an earlier investigation, when they saw someone in a silver van shooting at another vehicle, according to preliminary information from police.
"The occupants began firing shots indiscriminately in the direction of the officers," the Police Department said in a statement. "The officers returned fire." It is not believed they hit anyone.
Both vehicles sped off. The van was found near 37th Street and Racine Avenue, less than two miles away, and either a rifle or shotgun was found and taken into evidence near the scene, according to a source citing preliminary information.
A second weapon was also found, and three people were taken into custody, police said.
"It's just another example of how dangerous this job is," Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said outside Stroger. "And I think people take it for granted that when police officers come to work every day, they put their lives on the line every single day they get in their car.
"Listen, if they will fire at police officers like that, they they have no thought process in terms of firing at other citizens of this great city," Johnson added.
As he spoke, officers streamed in and out of the emergency entrance. Two officers arrived with a box of coffee and a large bag.
"It was like whack, whack, whack. Big guns. Next thing I know, I find out police got shot," Murdock said. "The Dunkin' Donuts lady was like, 'What the (expletive) are they shooting for?' My mind was like, 'Holy s--- ! I hope they don't run in.’ ’’
In its statement on Tuesday's shooting, the police department asked anyone with information to contact Cook County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-535-STOP (7867). Information can also be emailed to CPDTIP.com.