Manhunt for gunman after federal agent shot in Chicago; $61K reward offered
CHICAGO (Sun-Times/AP) - An ATF agent was shot in the face early Friday in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the South Side, but he was expected to make a full recovery, police said.
The agent was working a federal investigation with CPD officers in the 4400 block of South Hermitage Avenue about 3:15 a.m. when he was shot, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
The agent was taken to Stroger Hospital and was initially listed in critical condition, police said.
The agent “is anticipated to make a full recovery,” said Celinez Nunez, the special agent in charge of the ATF Chicago field division, during a brief news conference outside Stroger Hospital. “I want to thank our law enforcement partners throughout the country that have reached out to us and given us their full support.”
Multiple agencies teamed up to conduct raids in the Back of the Yards neighborhood Friday evening in search of the gunman responsible for shooting the ATF agent, according to officials.
No Chicago Police officers were wounded in the shooting, Guglielmi said. Initial reports of a second officer shot were unfounded, but another officer was taken to a hospital for observation.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the agent, on a task force comprised of ATF agents, police officers and Illinois State Police, was on the city's South Side working on a drug investigation when a man ran from a building and opened fire.
“Officer hit, we need an escort to the hospital now!” an officer is heard saying in police scanner traffic in the moments after the shooting. “We need an ambulance as soon as possible. Find someone to meet us. He may be hit in the head.”
Guglielmi said officers returned fire but it was unclear if the man was shot before he escaped.
The CPD has deployed specialized units, including organized crime, gang, gun and saturation teams, to assist with the investigation, Guglielmi said.
The ATF is putting up $25,000 as a reward for information that leads to an arrest in the shooting. The FBI is matching that, and the US Marshal’s Office is offering $10,000. Antiviolence activist Andrew Holmes is also offering $1,000, authorities announced Friday.
Jeff Sallet, the division chief of the FBI’s Chicago field office, said the $61,000 would prove who was loyal to shooter.
“The people who did this will not have a lot of friends,” he said.
“It’s a team fight, it’s not an individual effort,” Sallet added. “We need the community.”
The agent shot Friday was the fourth law enforcement officer to be shot in the Back of the Yards in the last year.
A year ago, two Chicago Police officers were shot with a rifle near 43rd and Ashland. Both survived. Guglielmi said that investigators could not rule out that the suspect in Friday’s shooting was part of the same gang that shot the officers in May 2017.
In June 2017, another Chicago Police officer was shot three blocks south on Ashland.
Neighborhood residents reported hearing a barrage of gunshots. One woman said they were too numerous to count.
Luz Campos, who lives near where the shooting took place, told the Chicago Tribune she was in her kitchen when she heard someone say "open the door" and then heard what she thought was the sound of fireworks.
In 2017, the ATF sent 20 agents to Chicago to coordinate with local authorities to combat the city's gun violence epidemic. The agents reportedly joined dozens already in the city, according to US News.
Before the announcement about the agent surge, President Trump took to Twitter, saying: "Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!"
Fox News contributed to this report.