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Cops Shoot Armed Robbery Suspect in Wicker Park

By  Alisa Hauser and Emily Morris | February 20, 2013 7:20am 

WICKER PARK — Chicago police shot an armed robbery suspect early Wednesday after chasing him into Wicker Park, authorities said.

The suspect held up a store near the intersection of Chicago Avenue and State Street on the Near North Side at gunpoint shortly before midnight, police said. He then fled in an SUV and sped toward Wicker Park.

Police chased him into the heart of the neighborhood, where the SUV crashed into a parked car on Milwaukee Avenue, just north of the intersection with North and Damen avenues.

In a statement, police said that before striking the parked car, the man put his SUV in reverse and slammed into a police car, then sped toward an officer.

"In fear of his life," the officer shot the man, the statement said.

The man was arrested and taken to the hospital, the statement read. No other injuries were reported.

A spokesman from the Chicago Fire Department said the 23-year-old man was taken to Stroger Hospital in serious condition.

A gun was recovered from his SUV, police said.

The Sun-Times reported that the man is suspected of robbing at least 12 stores at gunpoint, including a Subway holdup in the Loop on Tuesday and 11 other businesses on the North and West sides in the past two months.

A significant portion of the six-way intersection was blocked to traffic after the incident and no pedestrians were able to pass through, even those going to their apartments, who were escorted by police.

Because it was a police-involved shooting, the Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the incident.

Spokesman Larry Merritt said officers from his department were on the scene early Wednesday and that once the investigation is complete, more information would be issued.

A Shakespeare District Police sergeant referred to the incident as "a good arrest" but was unable to elaborate, hinting that more information would be revealed at a local CAPS meeting Wednesday evening.

The neighborhood has been home to other "good arrests" in recent months.

In January two area beat cops were honored by the City Council for their role in disarming an offender during a dramatic scuffle at a Wicker Park cell phone shop in October.

On Saturday cops nabbed a middle-age tagger from Cicero who was later charged with criminal defacement to property after he marked the exterior door and inner vestibule of  The Violet Hour with silver shoe polish.