Chicago gunmen open fire on Jesuit priest after he catches them stealing catalytic converter

A Jesuit priest narrowly escaped a shooting Monday morning on Chicago’s Near West Side.

Police said two men were trying to steal a catalytic converter, and when the priest tried to stop them, they fired shots.

Just a few inches one way or the other could have made things much worse for Father Jeremiah Lynch. Fortunately, he is alright.

There is a mark on his forehead, as either a bullet or a piece of a door damaged by the gunfire grazed him.

Father Lynch lives at a Jesuit residence on West Taylor Street, near Saint Ignatius College Prep and the University of Illinois Chicago.

Around 6 a.m., Father Lynch heard what sounded like construction. When he went to check it out, he saw two men trying to steal a catalytic converter from a car in the parking lot.

When he questioned them, they started shooting.

"It was bam, bam, bam. And you can see the bullet holes in the door, at least two. And, he pushed the door closed. But he said, by the grace of God, he's here. He said if he had turned his head one way or another, he might have actually caught the bullet," said Kristyn Hartman, Communications Director for Saint Ignatius College Prep.

Father Lynch helps young people at the Cook County Jail. He says he is praying for the men that police are still looking for.

"It's sad to me that you have people who are valuing something like a catalytic converter over a human life," Hartman said.