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Off-duty officer shoots robbery suspect at Walgreens

An off-duty Chicago police officer shot and wounded a robbery suspect at a Walgreens store in the Jefferson Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side, according to authorities.
The shooting happened around 10:30 a.m. Monday in the 5200 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, authorities said.

Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Patrick Camden, citing preliminary information, said an off-duty police officer walked into the Walgreens to get money from an ATM machine while his wife and two children waited in their vehicle outside.

Camden said the officer had a feeling something was wrong, when he saw a female employee "frantically" stashing money in a bag behind the counter, while a 400-pound man stood in front of the register.

"It's not an every day, common scene," Camden said.
The police officer, who is assigned to the Monroe District and has been with the department for 11 years, walked to the man, identified himself as an officer, and asked the man to get down. The man knelt down, but said he wasn't going to be arrested and said that the officer would have to shoot him, reaching into his pocket as if he had a gun, Camden said.

According to a statement issued by the Chicago Police news affairs office, a struggle ensued between the off-duty officer and the suspect. During the course of the struggle, the officer discharged his weapon in fear for his life, striking the offender, according to the statement.

Police recovered what appears to be a semi-automatic handgun from the scene, Camden said.
The suspect, described as weighing more than 400 pounds, fits the description of a robber who robbed the same store on Jan. 26 and a nearby Dollar Tree store recently, as well as a Dunkin Donuts near Belmont and Austin avenues, police said.

The suspect was taken in critical condition to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital after being shot in the upper body, Camden said.
The shooting occurred down the street from the Jefferson Park District police station.
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