Thursday, June 26, 2008

Initially it sounds like a joke, but then it gets pretty sad

Officer shoots man wielding crutch, Forest View chief says

A Forest View police officer shot and wounded a man threatening him with a crutch outside a sports bar near the west suburb overnight, police said.

The shooting unfolded just after 1:30 a.m. when the unidentified patrol officer responded to a 911 call about a fight at 3rd Down bar, 4839 S. Central Ave. in unincorporated Cook County, said Larry Brouk, Forest View director of public safety.

After the officer pulled into the alley behind the bar, he got out of his squad and confronted a man brandishing a crutch and ordered him to drop it, Brouk said.

"He was using [the crutch] as a deadly weapon. You could kill somebody with that," Brouk said.

Brouk said the officer ordered the suspect to stop, but that he continued to approach the officer.

"After being told several times to drop the crutch, he failed to do so—at which point our officer had no other option but to use deadly force," he said.

The suspect was listed in critical condition at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Brouk said. The Cook County Public Integrity Unit will investigate the shooting, said Brouk, who referred further questions to county officials.

A Cook County sheriff's office spokeswoman could not immediately be reached. An employee at the bar declined to comment overnight.

Dan P. Blake, Tribune reporter

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