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Off-duty Chicago cop shoots man fleeing police in stolen car

Updated: November 30, 2012 1:32AM

An off-duty Chicago police officer shot and wounded a man who was fleeing police in a stolen vehicle Thursday night on the South Side.

The officer, who had just gotten off work and was still in uniform, was in his personal vehicle, stopped at a light at the intersection of 37th Street and King Drive, with his girlfriend riding as a passenger, Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said.

Before the light changed, Camden said the officer saw a gray vehicle speeding toward him on King Drive, with several police cars chasing it.

As the vehicle approached, the driver tried to make a hard turn onto West 37th Street, but lost control, striking a female pedestrian and several light poles before hitting a retaining wall, Camden said.

After checking on the pedestrian, the officer approached the vehicle — which was stolen — and the driver slammed the vehicle in reverse and was headed toward the officer’s Cheverolet Yukon, Camden said.

According to Camden, the officer fired two shots at the vehicle, but he did not hit the driver, who side-swiped the officer’s SUV.

The man in the stolen vehicle then put the car in drive and accelerated toward the officer, Camden said.

The officer fired two more shots, hitting the man in the hand, Camden said.

By this time, squad cars chasing the man had arrived at the scene and detained the man, Camden said. He was taken in good condition to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center and was later released to police custody, Camden said.

The woman who was hit by the stolen vehicle was taken to the University of Chicago Hospitals, Camden said. Her condition was unknown.

The officer was not injured; his girlfriend suffered a minor head injury.

“These coppers are on duty 24 hours a day,” Camden said. “They protect and serve the public whenever they have opportunity to do so.”

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