CHICAGO - An off-duty Chicago police officer shot at thieves attempting to steal a catalytic converter Tuesday morning in the Irving Park neighborhood.
Around 2:50 a.m., police say the off-duty cop observed several people trying to steal a catalytic converter from a parked car in the 2800 block of West Grace Street.
One of the suspects pointed a gun at the officer who then pulled out his own weapon and started shooting, police said.
The suspects entered nearby vehicles and fled the scene, police said. As the suspects sped away, they crashed into a white SUV, totaling it.
The owner of the smashed vehicle says the SUV was their only car, which she and her girlfriend use on a daily basis.
"It's pretty important, really important. It’s the most reliable thing we have right now for transportation, especially for work, school, groceries, stuff like that," said Jahayra Gutierrez.
The off-duty cop was not injured in the shooting but was transported to a local hospital for chest pain, officials said.
Because the officer was involved, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability is now investigating.
No one is in custody for the incident, as Area Five detectives investigate.