Police exchange fire with West Pullman shooting suspects

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Chicago Police investigate near West 119th Street and South Lowe Avenue, where officers witnessed a shooting and exchanged gunfire with the suspects early Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Two people have been released without charges after Chicago Police officers witnessed a shooting Thursday morning and exchanged gunfire with suspects in the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side.

Officers responding to an unrelated call at 2:40 a.m. heard gunshots from at least two different types of weapons in the 11800 block of South Lowe, according to police. The officers saw people inside a vehicle firing at a group of individuals on that block.

When the officers announced themselves and began to intervene, the people in the vehicle fired shots at the officers, police said. One of the officers returned fire, but no one was struck.

The vehicle drove away westbound on 119th and later crashed in the 4400 block of West 119th Street in Alsip, police said. Three people got out of the vehicle and ran away. A weapon was recovered from the vehicle.

Two people were later apprehended and questioned by detectives, while police searched for a third suspect. Due to the manhunt in Alsip, classes were canceled for all District 126 schools, including Stony Creek Elementary School, 11700 S. Kolin Ave.; Prairie Junior High School, 11910 S. Kostner Ave.; Lane Elementary School, 4600 123rd St.; and Hazelgreen Elementary School, 11751 S. Lawler Ave.

Further investigation revealed that a 22-year-old man was shot in the leg and was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition was stabilized, police said.

As of Monday morning, the two people being questioned in connection with the incident had been released without charges, police said. No one was in custody for the shooting as Area South detectives continue to investigate.

Independent Police Review Authority Chief Sharon Fairley, who responded to the scene of the shooting shortly after 4:30 a.m., confirmed that shots were fired by police at that location. When asked whether anyone was struck by police gunfire, she said, “Not as far as we know.”

She declined to comment further, citing an ongoing investigation.

Lowe was blocked off between 118th and 119th streets and 119th was closed between Wallace and Union as police investigated.