JOLIET – Police say a gang member tried pointing a gun at the officer who shot him Wednesday.
Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton said a woman told police she’d been driving with the suspect when he attacked her. She reportedly escaped and called police to report the incident.
“Officers were familiar with the suspect, a known gang member who has a lengthy criminal history and set up surveillance on [his] address,” Benton said.
Police reportedly watched him get into the car while carrying a silver handgun and drive away. When police attempted to pull him over about 7:24 p.m., the man led them on a brief chase that ended when he crashed into a utility pole at Chicago Street and Mills Road, Benton said.
“The suspect abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot while still armed with the handgun. The uniformed officer engaged in a foot pursuit at which time the suspect pointed the weapon at the officer who fired while in fear for his life,” Benton said.
The man who was shot was taken to Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center and later airlifted to another hospital. Benton did not identify him or the officer who has been placed on administrative leave.
Benton said putting the officer on leave is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting, which will be investigated.
“There will be two investigations of this incident. First, a criminal investigation into the actual shooting ... to ensure the actions taken by the officer were in accordance with [the] law,” Benton said.
The department will then conduct an internal review to ensure the officer’s actions complied with department policy.