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Chicago cop, suspect shot on Gold Coast after attempted Prada burglary

For many Gold Coast residents, their Monday morning wakeup call was the sound of gunshots, as Chicago police and a burglary suspect exchanged gunfire following an attempted crash-and-grab at the Prada store.

Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling told reporters someone tried to drive a Dodge Durango SUV into the windows of Prada, at 30 E. Oak St., about 4:15 a.m. As responding officers got to the scene, they encountered a gunman who to began to run away.

Officers told him to drop the gun, but the man refused and there was an exchange of gunfire, Snelling said.

The officer was shot in the leg during the shootout and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was also taken to Northwestern in serious-to-critical condition, according to Snelling and Chicago Fire Department Chief Walter Schroeder.

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Chicago Police Department officials investigate near East Walton and North State streets after authorities said an officer and a “crash and grab” suspect were both shot in the Gold Coast.

Kim Hendricks said she has lived in the same building for 32 years and she’s never seen anything like what happened this morning.

She woke up to the sound of gunshots and looked out her window to see squad cars and an ambulance all over the street.

“It’s a different world. It’s a different city, I just don’t get it,” Hendricks said. “It seems like after the summer of 2020, that’s when things went downhill. I’ve heard a police officer say these kids got brazen, and I guess that’s what it is because I’ve been here a long time and I’ve never seen it like this.”

James Cooper, who recently moved back to the city, said waking up to the sound of gunshots was concerning, but it doesn’t make him feel unsafe. However, his parents have recently started taking precautions.

“It happens rare enough that it’s not terrible,” Cooper said. “My parents are definitely more cautious now … because they don’t feel 100% safe in this neighborhood, which is crazy because it’s downtown.

“It’s just gotten out of hand,” he said.

Police are looking for several additional people involved in the attack. Two guns were recovered from the scene. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is also investigating.

Rob Karr, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said the group has noticed a significant uptick in the use of firearms during smash-and-grab robberies.

“We think that’s a reaction to retail trying to harden their stores, trying to make it more difficult, and that is forcing the criminals to be more brazen,” Karr said.

Reports of robberies have contributed to high vacancy rates in some of the city’s major retail districts, Karr said.

“It continues to be a struggle to not only keep people from moving to other locations but also to attract new entrants,” Karr said. “We think Chicago still has a lot to offer, but this is a self-inflicted wound and Chicago needs to heal itself.”

To address the issue, Karr said the state’s attorney’s office needs to implement a “zero-tolerance approach,” and prosecute shoplifting at a lower threshold.

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Families and students walk to Ogden Elementary School at 24 W. Walton St. as Chicago Police Department officials investigate nearby after authorities said an officer and a “crash and grab” suspect were both shot in the Gold Coast.

The same store was the target of a robbery over the summer, according to a report from CBS 2. At least six people entered the store in the middle of a Sunday afternoon and madeoff with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

Even before the latest incident, 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins said a meeting had been scheduled for Monday to discuss installing barriers on sections of Michigan Avenue and the nearby retail district, where such crash-and-grabs had been occurring.

Hopkins said that security project now takes on an additional sense of urgency.

“We have several designs of bollards that don’t look like bollards. We’re trying to make it look like it’s just part of the decorative landscape. But they’re designed to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway, crossing the sidewalk and smashing into a storefront,” said Hopkins, whose ward includes the intersection of State and Walton, where one of the three vehicles involved in Monday’s incident was found.

The Magnificent Mile Association, the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Department of Transportation are all expected to participate in Monday’s meeting. Still to be decided: how many barriers, how much will they cost and who will pay for them.

“There’s a justification for at least some measure of public dollars because Oak Street in particular — but Michigan Avenue also — generates a significant amount of sales tax because it is adesirable retail destination. And if this keeps happening, some of the retailers may give up on the area, and we can’t afford that,” Hopkins said.

“How much does it cost to constantly repair the damage to your storefront? Even if insurance covers some of it, at some point they’re gonna stop covering it because it happens with such frequency,” he added. “We need to take steps to stop it, as well as apprehend the criminals who are doing it.”

In December 2021, the City Council agreed to raise commercial property taxes along North Michigan Avenue to bankroll security improvements after a string of robberies there. That vote came nearly a year to the day that downtown Council members had blocked plans for the taxing district, known as a “special service area.” Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot argued then that commercial properties fronting the Magnificent Mile were “hurting” after a dramatic drop-off in sales and foot traffic, and that Hopkins and 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly were wrong to stop them from taxing themselves to shore up their defenses.

Those two Council members had expressed concern about the “truncated, hurry-up-and-approve-it” creation of the taxing district and complained that a “significant portion” of the money generated by the tax hike would go toward “salary, contracts, personnel and other operating expenses.”

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

Chicago Police officers and vehicles are shown working a crime scene in this telescopic shot.

Chicago police investigate the scene Monday morning at State and Walton streets after a Chicago police officer and a crash-and-grab suspect were shot in the Gold Coast.

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Chicago Police Department officials investigate the scene at Prada, 30 E. Oak St., after authorities said an officer and a “crash and grab” suspect were both shot in the Gold Coast.




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