PARK FOREST, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) — A Park Forest police officer was critically injured and another person was killed in an exchange of gunfire Saturday morning in the south suburb.
Officers were investigating reports of a break-in at a vacant home in the 300 block of Neola Street about 5:40 a.m., according to a statement from Park Forest police. When they found a stolen vehicle at that location and learned that someone was inside they home, they set up a perimeter around the building.
A male came out of the home and as officers tried to detain him, he pulled out a handgun and started shooting at the officers, police said. Officers returned fire and struck the suspect.
One officer was shot and was taken to Franciscan St. James Health in Olympia Fields with life-threatening injuries, police said. He was then airlifted to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition.
Park Forest Mayor John Osternburg identified the officer as Tim Jones, son of Country Club Hills Police Chief William Jones.
“I’m praying he will make it through. He’s a great kid,” Country Club Hills Ald. Vincent Lockett told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Lockett said. “God always protects his angels.”
The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force is investigating the shooting.
The suspect in the shooting was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, according to police. The Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed the death but did not release further details Saturday morning.
Osternburg says Jones has been with the department for about a year and is part of a family line of officers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.