A man was wounded during a shootout with an off-duty Cook County sheriff’s officer Friday night near Millennium Park in yet another incidence of mayhem at the city’s premier park.
The 22-year-old was trying to enter the park about 7:20 p.m. in the first block of East Monroe Street but refused to undergo a check by a metal-detecting wand at an entry point, Chicago police said.
The man then jumped a fence to gain entry into the park. As security approached, he pulled out a gun and fired, police said. An off-duty Cook County sheriff’s officer, who was working as a security guard, returned fire.
The man was shot but was able to flee on foot to the Riverwalk. He was caught and taken into custody in the 300 block of East Riverwalk, police said, then taken to a nearby hospital. His injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.
Charges were pending, according to police.
Police tape could be seen along the Riverwalk in news accounts from the scene.
The incident is the second at Millennium Park in the past week as violence has risen sharply downtown.
Last Saturday night, 16-year-old Seandell Holliday was killed by “The Bean” after a fight broke out among teens in the park as huge crowds gathered downtown.
In response, Mayor Lori Lightfoot instituted a rule requiring anyone under 18 be accompanied by a “responsible adult” to enter the park after 6 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday evenings.
Enforcement of the new rules, including weapons checks for those entering, had just begun Thursday, the night before the shootout.
Through early May, shootings downtown had risen 22% over the same period last year. And last year had already seen a big jump in gun violence in the area.