A Chicago police officer and two federal agents working undercover were wounded by gunfire Wednesday morning on the Southwest Side, officials said.
The police officer was grazed in the back of the head, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was shot in the hand, and another ATF agent suffered a wound to his side, police said.
All were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where they were being treated for injuries not considered life-threatening, officials said.
The shooting happened shortly before 6 a.m. as the three were getting onto the northbound lanes of Interstate 57 near 119th Street, about a mile from the Morgan Park police station, police said.
“They were conducting an investigation. They were all together in one vehicle when they were fired upon,” police Supt. David Brown told reporters.
Brown gave no details about the undercover operation. He said one of the ATF agents is a woman. The police officer and the other ATF agent are men.
Illinois State Police troopers were called to assist with the investigation.
Police were looking for a white Chevrolet Malibu believed to be used in the shooting — and the car apparently was found near 89th Place and Indiana Avenue. Officers were looking for a suspect there. A police “drone command van” was sent to the area to assist in the search.
The two wounded ATF agents and police officer are among five law enforcement officials shot in Chicago over the past three days.
Chicago police Cmdr. Patrina Wines and a sergeant were wounded by bullets fired into a crowd of revelers in the 100 block of North Long Avenue in Austin at about 1:30 a.m. Monday. Wines was struck in the foot, and the sergeant was grazed in the leg.
Brown said 36 Chicago police officers have either been shot or shot at this year.
“We have more than 100,000 gang members in the city of Chicago,” Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) said Wednesday. “They are emboldened and have nothing to fear from law enforcement. The police are under siege.”
O’Shea, whose ward includes the area where the shooting occurred, said the police department is struggling with a shortage of manpower because of a record number of retirements this year.
“We’re at a critical point in the city of Chicago. We need help. Police can’t do it alone,” he said, appealing to President Joe Biden, who is visiting Crystal Lake Wednesday.
“In some communities, mothers and fathers are scared to let their kids out in front of their house,” O’Shea said. “We continue to have these episodes here on the South Side, and today was another example of the utter lawlessness we see in the streets.”