Looters ransacked shops in downtown Chicago early on Monday morning following a shootout between a suspect and police officers.
According to police, officers were called to the Englewood neighborhood on Sunday afternoon after receiving reports of a man with a gun. Officers found a suspect who matched the description, however the suspect attempted to flee and fired at officers giving chase. Police then shot and wounded the suspect, who was brought into custody.
However, police said rumors spread in the neighborhood that the suspect was a child, when in fact the man is in his 20’s. A crowd gathered at the sight of the shooting and confrontations with police ensued. One officer was sprayed with a can of mace and the windows of a police vehicle were smashed with a brick, while community members told a local CBS affiliate that officers beat some of the demonstrators.
Hundreds of people began looting stores in Chicago on Sunday night, causing city authorities to raise bridges leading to the city’s downtown area and cease public transportation. There have been reports of shots fired between officers and looters during attempted arrests.
“Absolute chaos in downtown Chicago,” CBS reporter Ryan Baker wrote on Twitter. “Appears to be coordinated effort with minimal police presence.”
Former Chicago Bears player Patrick Mannelly posted a video of looters at a branch of The Gold Coast.
“The Gold Coast is being looted right now. What the hell is going on @chicagosmayor?” Mannelly wrote.
Chicago has been struggling with a wave of shootings since the end of May. While shootings typically rise every summer in the city, this year has been especially violent following coronavirus lockdowns and demonstrations sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an African American man killed during arrest by Minneapolis police officers. Chicago police recorded 440 homicides and 2,240 shooting victims from January-July 2020, compared with 290 homicides and 1,480 shooting victims over the same period in 2019.
Chicago saw widespread looting and rioting during the weekend after Floyd’s death in late May.