Two police officers have been shot in south suburban Harvey and a suspect is holding a woman and children hostage at the scene this afternoon, officials said.
Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg said one officer suffered a graze wound to the arm and was treated at the scene. The other officer was wounded in the elbow and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition was stabilized, the mayor said.
Sources said the officer taken to the hospital is a 14-year veteran.
The gunman was holding a woman and 5 or 6 children hostage inside a home at 147th Street / Sibley Boulevard and Robey Avenue, where the shooting occurred around 12:45 p.m., officials said.
“We got a call of a break-in and officers approached the scene and there was an exchange of gunfire,” said Harvey spokesman Sean Howard.
As of 3:30 p.m. Howard said they were in communication with the gunman. He could not say if the hostages were related to the gunman.
Police sources said negotiators are planning on cutting off power to the television inside, which the suspect is believed to be watching, so that he cannot monitor what’s happening by watching the news. SWAT members are also inside a large black vehicle parked on the scene.
The Rosa L. Parks Middle School, across the street from the scene, was on lockdown, Howard said. School was not in session, he said, and students were not in the building, but staff preparing for the upcoming school year had to be escorted from the building.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Police hostage and barricade team was at the scene, along with the Illinois State Police SWAT team, officials said. Three helicopters were also deployed.
There are 22 law enforcement agencies on the scene.
Erica Johnson, 36, of neighboring Dixmoor, was outside watching the chaos.
“This really is a peaceful block. It’s pretty much seniors,” Johnson said.
“This makes me kind of scared. My nieces and nephews come over to visit and we don’t think anything about them being outside. We really don’t know anymore.”
Today was the second time within a year that a Harvey police officer has been shot in the line of duty.
On Nov. 24, a Harvey police officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries when he was shot while responding to a robbery at a business at 159th and Wood Streets.
The suspect in the shooting, 25-year-old Demarcus Brandon, was shot and killed the following month by an employee who worked in a store he tried to rob on Chicago’s South Side.
Source: Chicago Tribune