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Man charged in shootout with off-duty CPD officer on Stevenson expressway; woman critically wounded

CBS Chicago
CBS Chicago
 2022-08-09

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Man charged after shootout with off-duty Chicago police officer on Stevenson expressway 00:26

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A 22-year-old man has been charged in connection with a shootout with an off-duty Chicago Police officer on the Stevenson Expressway, which left a woman critically wounded.

Illinois State Police said, shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday, troopers responded to a shooting in the northbound lanes of Interstate 55 near Archer Avenue.

According to a Chicago Police Department report on the incident, an off-duty CPD officer was driving on the expressway when someone in a blue Nissan Maxima pointed a laser sight at him, and started shooting.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown confirmed Monday morning that the off-duty officer returned fire.

During the shootout, the driver of the Nissan Maxima, a 24-year-old woman was shot in the head. She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

The passenger in the Nissan Maxima, 22-year-old David Abarca, was taken into custody, and a Glock 17 that had been modified to fire automatically was recovered from the vehicle. Lab tests confirmed Abarca had gunshot residue on his hands, according to a CPD arrest report.

Abarca has been charged with one count each of attempted murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and aggravated discharge of a firearm, and is being held without bail.

Neither Illinois State Police nor Chicago Police have said who fired the shot that wounded the woman. According to the arrest report, the attempted murder charge stems from the shots Abarca allegedly fired at the officer.

Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan declined to provide further details on the incident, referring questions to Illinois State Police, who were investigating because the shootout happened on an expressway.

Illinois State Police would not say if the off-duty officer or Abarca fired the shot that wounded the woman. A spokesperson would only say, "this is an open and on-going investigation."

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability also is investigating the off-duty officer's use of force.

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