THE LOOP — The officers who were shot Tuesday night in the Back of the Yards epitomize the "selfless sacrifice" demonstrated by all members of the Chicago Police Department on behalf of the entire city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday.
The officers were shot late at 9:10 p.m. in the 4300 block of South Ashland Avenue, police said. They were in a vehicle on the block investigating an earlier incident when one or two cars pulled up and the occupants fired "indiscriminately" at the officers, Supt. Eddie Johnson said.
Emanuel credited the bulletproof vests the officers were wearing with saving their lives.
"They represent selfless sacrifice on behalf of all of us," Emanuel said. "They were doing their jobs as officers" assigned to the department's tactical unit, Emanuel said, adding that all Chicagoans should take a moment to reflect on the wounded officers' service, and the impact of the shooting on their families.
One officer was hit in his arm and hip and the other officer was hit in his back, Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
In the wake of the shooting, four aldermen who are former Chicago Police officers said all officers should be trained and and certified to use rifles and shotguns. There is an "unacceptable backlog" of officers seeking the training, according to a statement from Aldermen Ed Burke (14th), Anthony Napolitano (41st), Christopher Taliaferro (29th) and Willie Cochran (20th).
But Emanuel declined to endorse their effort Thursday, saying he would look to Johnson for "guidance."
"I would note that what was most important for those officers was their vests," the mayor said.
Although the police department had asked the news media not to identify the injured officers, Emanuel said one of the injured officers was the son of Deputy Chief Kevin Ryan. Emanuel said he got to know the younger Ryan when he first joined the force and was assigned to the Bridgeport-based Deering Police District. The two took a bicycle ride together and posed for a picture, the mayor said.
Emanuel said he had checked in on both officers and their families after they were released from the hospital. While saying their was no specific threat to the officers, Johnson "ordered heightened security for both" officers based on the evidence gathered during the investigation.
No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting, although several people have been questioned.
Emanuel declined to say whether the officers were targeted by the gunmen, saying he did not want to get ahead of the investigation by the department, which he said was progressing.