Officer critically hurt in South Side shooting
June 1, 2009 5:29 AM | 38 Comments | UPDATED STORY
Forensics officers this morning document the crime scene in the 6000 block of South Hermitage Avenue where officer was critically wounded. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune)
A plain-clothes Chicago police officer was shot in the head and critically wounded early this morning in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, authorities said.
The attack occurred about 12:30 a.m. in the 6000 block of South Hermitage Avenue as the 27-year-old three-year veteran officer and his partner were investigating a report of shots fired, said Police Supt. Jody Weis at a news conference in the lobby of police headquarters.
The shots were fired from a vehicle with more than one person in it, Weis said. He refused to discuss that vehicle.
Other police sources said investigators were "zeroing in" on suspects and hoped to announce arrests soon. Weis (right) would only say: "There are some very good investigative leads right now."
Wentworth Area detectives are investigating the case, he said.
The identity of the wounded officer was not being released pending notification of relatives, Weis said, but he added the officer works in the 7th District. In addition to the officer's head wound, he was wounded in the leg, Weis said.
"We have him in our prayers," Weis said. "We'll have to wait and see how this progresses."
The officer was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.
Police backup and an ambulance were called to the scene.
Investigators recovered shell casings at the scene. Officers continued to search the area for evidence as late as 3 a.m.
Several teams were stationed along Hermitage between 62nd and 60th Streets, including near the field at the southeast corner of Charles W. Earle Elementary School and in an alley in the 6000 block between Hermitage and Wood Street.
Doesn't look good Officer valadez was shot in the head & leg . I only new him for a short time but I knew he would be a great copper he transfered to Englewood last year . Please keep him in your prayers hes a great kid