CHICAGO IL JAN 23 2008
An off-duty Chicago police officer on Tuesday shot a 16-year-old boy who brought a gun to a South Side high school, officials said.About 8:30 a.m., the teen, a student suspended from Phillips High School Academy, 244 E. Pershing Rd., went through a metal detector at the school and triggered an alarm, said Mike Vaughn, a spokesman for Chicago Public Schools. A security officer at the school patted down the youth and discovered a gun, Vaughn said.The boy fled, and that officer and the off-duty officer, who also works security at the school, chased the boy, who still had the gun, Vaughn said.
The off-duty officer shot the teen soon after near a CTA elevated train station in the 300 block of East 43rd Street in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood, officials said. Whether the teen pulled out the gun or pointed it at the officer was being investigated, a law-enforcement source said.The boy was in stable condition at a local hospital, officials said.”There was a gun recovered at the scene,” said Ilana Rosenzweig, chief of the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates shootings involving Chicago police officers. “But all the details on that, what type of [gun] it was, precisely how it got there, that is under investigation.”IPRA investigators reviewed evidence at the scene and are interviewing witnesses.It was also unclear why the suspended boy, a student in a Phillips program for helping students make the transition from 8th to 9th grade, tried to enter the school with a gun.”I’m surprised that he tried to bring it. There’s practically a police station inside the school,” said Oliver Sims, 20, an older brother of a student at the school.Security at Phillips is tight, with students required to pass through a metal detector. Security guards, many of whom are off-duty police officers, also are posted at the entrances and pat students down.Several hours after the shooting, many students said they had received no official word about the incident. Students said that classes were not disrupted, but that there was a noticeably larger police presence both during the day and when classes ended. School officials declined to comment.The law-enforcement source said the teen had five previous misdemeanor arrests and a felony arrest for unlawful use of a weapon. Tryree Parish, 19, a senior, described the student who was shot as troubled but not violent.”He had a lot of problems on his mind, but no one could get to him,” Parish said.Chicago police confirmed the incident, but referred all inquires to the IPRA.
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