CHICAGO – A police officer answering a call of alleged shoplifting at a Chicago area department store open on Thanksgiving evening shot the driver of a car that was dragging a fellow officer, authorities said.
The wounded driver of the car and the dragged officer were both taken for hospital treatment of non-life-threatening shoulder injuries, Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey said at a news conference in that southwest Chicago area suburb. He said three people were arrested.
Turvey said police got a call shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday of two people allegedly shoplifting clothes from a Kohl’s store in Romeoville. “As officers approached the front door, one of the two subjects ran out the door into the parking lot” and the officer chased him to a waiting car, Turvey said.
“The officer was struggling with the subject as he got into the car and then the car started to move as the officer was partially inside the car. The officer was dragged quite some distance. He couldn’t get out,” Turvey said.
The police chief said a backup officer fired two or three shots toward the driver when he refused orders to stop, striking him once in the shoulder.
“At that time the car came to a stop,” said Turvey, adding police arrested the driver, the passenger and a third person still inside the store. The two officers involved and the three arrested weren’t immediately identified by Turvey.
There were no reports of any injuries to shoppers hunting for deals ahead of Black Friday.
The Chicago Sun-Times said the store was open early Friday and people were shopping inside while a small portion of a fire lane was taped off outside with several police cars nearby.
A store manager contacted at the outlet early Friday said he had no further information and referred The Associated Press to a corporate spokeswoman, who didn’t immediately return a message Friday.
Monica Fernandez, 41, of Romeoville, was quoted by the Sun-Times as saying she had just pulled into the lot and was getting ready to shop Thursday night when she saw police running after a man and heard gunshots.
“I ducked under my seat,” Fermandez said. “It’s crazy. Romeoville doesn’t’ have a lot of crime like that.”