ATF agent critically wounded during investigation

ATF agent critically wounded during investigation

CHICAGO — An ATF agent who is part of a newly-created strike force aimed at stemming gun violence in Chicago was critically wounded Friday during an investigation in one of the city’s most violence-plagued neighborhoods, police said.

Federal and local police officers were taking part in an early-morning joint operation in the city's Back of the Yards neighborhood when the agent was wounded in the face by an assailant, according to Chicago Police. The suspect or suspects fled the scene after the shooting and authorities said a manhunt was underway, police said.

Police said a second officer at the scene was also transported to an area hospital for observation after the shooting, but was not shot.

Celinez Nunez, special agent in charge of the ATF's Chicago field office, described the shooting as an "ambush." She said that the wounded agent's condition had stabilized and that he's expected to make a full recovery. Chicago police officers returned gunfire at a suspect, but do not believe that person was hit, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

Several police officers and ATF agents were in the area for what authorities described as an illegal gun interdiction in an area where gun violence has been an ongoing problem. Three Chicago police officers had been shot at in the same area over the last year, according to police.

 "Trust me those are going to have their day in court," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said. "Do you think we're going to take this lying down? This is the fourth law enforcement officer has been shot in that area. Do you think that scares us? Because it doesn't. I have a message for them: We're coming for you."

The incident occurred during an uptick in violence in the nation’s third largest city. At least four people have been fatally shot and 45 wounded since Monday.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has ordered specialized units to assist the ATF in the investigation. The city police department's organized crime, gang, saturation and gun teams are also assisting the investigation.

More: Chicago to get more ATF agents to fight gun violence

More: Spring in Chicago: As weather warms, 43 people shot in the city since Monday

More: Chicago violence: 7 killed in one neighborhood in 12 hours

The Trump administration announced nearly a year ago that it was increasing the ATF’s presence in the city in an effort to stem gun violence. Chicago saw more than 1,400 murders in 2016 and 2017– more than New York and Los Angeles combined.

With the additional agents, the agency presence was set to increase to about 61 agents from 41 in the city. The Justice Department also formed a joint strike force of federal and local law enforcement officials to ramp up prosecution of gun-related crimes. 

The wounded ATF agent had recently started work in the Chicago area, Nunez said.

President Trump has repeatedly railed on Chicago for its handling of the violence, referring to the situation as "horrible carnage" and "out of control." 

A veteran Chicago cop, Cmdr. Paul Bauer, was fatally shot on Feb. 13 after police got in a foot chase with a suspect. The suspect in Bauer's killing, Shomari Legghette, 44, faces murder, weapons and drug charges.

On Friday, the neighborhood where the ATF agent was shot was saturated with hundreds of Chicago cops and federal agents searching for the individual or individuals involved in the shooting.

The ATF, FBI, U.S. Marshals service and a local anti-violence activist, Andrew Holmes, announced a combined $61,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction for those responsible for the shooting.

"We need the community," said Jeffrey Sallet, special agent in charge of the FBI's Chicago division. We are out there protecting your community and our community and we need your help."

 

Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2rkATeW


ADVERTISEMENT


Source link : https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/05/04/chicago-atf-agent-critically-wounded-during-investigation/580076002/
Author :
Publish date : 2018-05-04 19:14:10
share on: