CHICAGO — The man that shot three Chicago Police officers following a drug investigation Monday was a gang member with a litany of felonies and other convictions to his name, police said Tuesday.
Three Chicago Police officers were treated for non-life threatening wounds after being shot by Lamar Harris, 29, on the West Side Monday night. Harris was fatally shot by the officers he attacked, police said.
Harris is documented gang member who has been convicted seven times, including five felonies and two misdemeanors, according to Chicago Police. He has been arrested a total of 43 times, police said.
His latest felony conviction came in 2012, when he was charged with aggravated, unlawful use of a weapon and resisting an officer causing injury.
The officers were on a narcotics patrol when they chased Harris into a dark gangway and were fired on in the 3700 block of West Polk Street, police said. An officer returned fire and killed the alleged shooter. But one officer was shot in the back, one in the foot and one in the chest, the latter possibly in his bullet-proof vest, the Tribune reported.
"Every day the dedicated men and women of the Chicago Police Department put themselves in danger so the rest of us can be safe," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.
The shootings were a reminder "of the dangers that our police face, and the bravery that they routinely display as three of our officers were shot in line of duty, the mayor said, adding that the thoughts and prayers of our entire city are with the officers and their families during this difficult time."
Police released a statement just after midnight Tuesday:
"On Monday, March 14, 2016, at approximately 9:40 p.m., 11th District (Harrison) Officers were investigating possible narcotics activity on the 3700 block of W. Polk where they observed two suspicious individuals. As officers approached on foot to gather additional information, one of the subjects, a male, fled the scene. A foot pursuit ensued during which the offender ran through a dimly lit courtyard flanked by two buildings. At some point, the offender fired shots at pursuing officers. At least one officer involved in the pursuit was able to return fire fatally striking the offender. A weapon was recovered on scene. Three officers sustained gunshot wounds and were transported to Stroger Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
"Currently, the specifics of this incident, including the comprehensive use of force investigation are being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority with the full cooperation of the CPD," according to the police statement.
The officers will be placed on "routine administrative duties" for 30 days, according to the statement. That policy was created by interim Police Supt. John Escalante and is designed to "ensure separation from field duties while training and fitness for duty requirements can be conducted."
"Going forward, this will be standard protocol following all officer-involved shootings," according to the police statement.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders noted the shootings during a rally at Roosevelt University Monday night.
"The violence we are seeing — hundreds of people being killed each year in this city, mass shootings all over America. Three police officers shot here tonight. We have got to come together and end this outrageous level of violence," Sanders said.
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