Man paralyzed from waist down was allegedly behind the wheel when gunmen in the car opened fire on off-duty suburban cop

A man paralyzed from the waist down was allegedly behind the wheel when gunmen opened fire on an off-duty suburban police officer driving to work over the weekend, leading to a crash and a shootout that left the officer and a bystander wounded.

Darreon Thompson, 24, of Hyde Park, was charged Monday with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon in the chaotic pursuit that ended in the 2300 block of East 103rd Street, according to an arrest report.

Thompson was also cited for driving without a license, blowing a red light and failing to stay in his lane.

Passengers in Thompson’s Chevrolet Impala fired at the Merrionette Park police officer’s Kia SUV around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Chicago police and the report. After the Impala collided with a Ford Fusion and crashed into a fence, the officer stopped in the middle of 103rd Street.

Thompson passed a handgun to someone in the front passenger seat, who shot the officer and a 43-year-old man, the report states. Chicago police previously reported that the suburban officer engaged in a gun battle with the suspected shooter, who wasn’t identified in the report and apparently hasn’t been arrested.

The officer was struck in the neck, according to the report. The man who was shot, identified as a bystander, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his left leg.

Thompson, in a conversation captured on a police body-worn camera, admitted to responding officers that he was driving the Impala, the report states. He was taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital for treatment.

A law enforcement source said Thompson is paralyzed from the waist down and was using levers to accelerate and brake the car. The arrest report notes that an unoccupied city bus was used to transport Thompson after he was taken into custody, and his family was allowed to bring him his wheelchair while he was detained.

The officer involved in the shooting previously worked as a Chicago cop. The Chicago Police Board voted to fire her in May of 2015, finding that she had falsified police documents, including a parking ticket issued to a vehicle owned by former Internal Affairs Chief Juan Rivera.

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