Chicago Police Return Fires at Thieves, at the Mag Mile

Hundreds of people swept through the Magnificent Mile and other parts of downtown Chicago early Monday, smashing windows, looting stores, confronting Chicago Police, and at one point exchanging gunfire with officers, authorities said.

The officers of Chicago Police had stopped several people on Lake Street near Michigan Avenue when shots were fired from a passing car around 4:30 a.m., nearly five hours into the widespread vandalism, according to Chicago Police spokesman Tom Ahern. No officers were shot but a squad car was hit, he said. It was not known if anyone in the gunman’s car was shot.

Ahern said other officers were injured through the night. Earlier, an officer was seen slumped against a building by Grand and Wabash avenues as other cops tended to him. It was unclear what had happened to him. Ahern had no details on the injuries.

The looting began shortly after midnight as people darted through broken store windows and doors along Michigan Avenue carrying shopping bags full of merchandise. Cars dropped off more people as the crowd grew. At least one U-Haul van was seen pulling up.

Chicago police return fire as looters hit Mag Mile, smashing windows and confronting officers

Chicago Police made “a lot of arrests” and recovered at least one gun, officials said. One woman with shopping bags in her hands fell on the sidewalk as an officer was chasing her. Another woman appeared to have been pepper-sprayed. A rock was thrown at a squad car.

The looting seemed to be centered in Streeterville and North Michigan Avenue, but some looting was reported on State Street in the Loop and on the Near North Side. By 4 a.m. Chicago Police appeared to be getting things under control.

But some vandalism continued into the daylight hours, and the CTA suspended train and bus service into downtown during the morning rush, while the Illinois state police blocked off ramps from expressways. Bridges across the Chicago River were raised, except for the one on LaSalle Street for emergency vehicles.

People were seen running out of a PNC Bank, its windows smashed, at Huron and State streets. Down the block, other stores, including a Sally Beauty Supply, had been cleaned out by vandals. Other parts of downtown, including around Grand and Wabash avenues, were littered with trash.

Crowds repeatedly tried to bash in the windows of the Omega watch store at Delaware Place and Michigan Avenue.

“The watch store,” one officer said. “They’re gonna get it eventually.”

A group of people went in and out through a broken window of the Louis Vuitton store along Walton Place across the street from the Drake Hotel. A squad car drove by and the group ran away.

But as the car rode off, at least one person tried to go into the shop. The police returned.

“Go home!” One cop shouted.

“You go home!” Someone shouted, apparently back at the officer.

Stores on North Michigan were hit by looters less than three months ago during a weekend of protests after the police death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

It was not clear what sparked the latest vandalism, though in several spots graffiti against the police was seen.

Hours earlier, dozens of people faced off with police after officers shot and wounded a suspect Sunday afternoon in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side.

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The officers, responding to reports of a young man with a gun, spotted someone who fit the description near Moran Park in the 5700 block of South Racine Avenue around 2:30 p.m. He ran away and, while being chased by police, turned around and fired at them, authorities said. He was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center but his condition was not known.

More than an hour after the shooting, police and witnesses said a crowd of about 30 people faced off against officers holding a police line near 56th and Aberdeen streets. Aauthorities said someone fed false information to the angry group, including that police shot and wounded a child.

During a scuffle, one officer was hit with pepper spray and a second officer suffered a minor shoulder injury. Two people were arrested and a police car was shattered by a brick, police added.

A large number of officers cordoned off streets in nearly every direction until the mood of the crowd cooled off.

Check back for updates.

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