“Cicero getting off I-55, I’ve been shot, I’ve been shot several times,” Officer Luis Duarte can be heard saying as he called in his own injuries. The Cicero, Illinois, cop and and his partner had had been pursuing a suspect when things took a frightening turn when they attempted to stop a car with California plates that had been reported stolen, according to ABC7.
Cicero Police Department Superintendent Jerry Chlada, Jr. explained what happened next. “The vehicle refused to stop, our officers were able to box the vehicle in right at the entrance ramp at I-55 and Cicero Avenue where the subject immediately exited his vehicle and began shooting multiple rounds at our officers.”
The Chicago Sun Times reported that the suspect used an automatic weapon to spray bullets at officers and their vehicle. That is when Duarte was hit four times, twice in the arm, once in the leg and once in the abdomen.
But Chlada told reporters that something remarkable happened then. “We were lucky enough to have a citizen on the street there who’s a concealed-carry holder, and he also engaged in gunfire.”
The suspect was hit by gunfire and then captured. He was taken to the hospital where he was listed as being in serious condition.
Town President Larry Dominick praised the unidentified citizen, stuck in rush hour traffic at the time of the incident, who leaped to the defense of the officers. “He got out and started helping the police, which is something I’ve got to be proud of.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, Dominick also had this to say about the citizen helper. “I want to applaud the citizen, a civilian, who risked his life to help in apprehending this armed suspect.”
The Cicero Police Department has been posting updates on Twitter. In one, they shared some good news about Duarte:
Update on Ofc Duarte: he is out of surgery and currently resting comfortably. Thank you to everyone for the Prayers and support!
— Cicero Police Dept (@TOCPolice) September 14, 2018
They also thanked the community for the overwhelming response. All over social media, love, prayers and support have been poured out for the police in general and Duarte, specifically:
The Cicero Police Department would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming prayers and support for Ofc Duarte and the entire Cicero Police Department. It’s been an unspeakable 24 hours and we sincerely appreciate everyone out there who has reached out to us.
— Cicero Police Dept (@TOCPolice) September 15, 2018
Good friend of mine Prayers for Cicero Police Officer Luis Duarte who is in good condition after being shot by a suspect this evening (Thursday Sept. 13, 2018 around 5:05 pm) during a routine traffic stop.
Morton College would like to wish Cicero Police Office Luis Duarte a speedy recovery. Thank you and the Cicero Police Department for keeping our community safe.
The “good guy with a gun” who assisted police was also remembered by Duarte’s well-wishers. The Town of Cicero also thanked the Chicago Police who assisted and apprehended the suspect.
Prayers for Cicero Police Officer Luis Duarte who is in good condition after being shot by a suspect this evening…
The Chicago Tribune also reported what Illinois residents must undergo in order to obtain a concealed carry license in the state, as Illinois has notoriously strict gun laws. “To get a license, you must be at least 21 and have a valid firearm owners identification card. You can’t have been convicted of physical violence in the last five years, or had more than two DUIs in the past five years or have any outstanding arrest warrants.”
“You also must undergo 16 hours of training — usually a weekend — and have hit 21 of 30 targets at close range. To renew a license, required every five years, a person must take a refresher course that covers gun skills.”
They also noted that at this time it is unknown if it was the police or the concealed carry permit holder who shot the suspect. An investigation into the entire matter is underway, as per normal procedure.
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