CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A Chicago Police officer survived a brush with death Friday afternoon when a bullet struck his safety vest during a shootout that left a female gunman critically wounded on the West Side, officials said.
"Thankfully he had a vest on and it saved his life. The shot was to the center of his mass and could have been fatal," said Dr. Kristen Donaldson, who treated the officer at Loyola University Medical Center.
"Today we have seen gun violence in Chicago hit home not only for me as an ER physician but as the wife of a Chicago police officer," Donaldson said.
"We see this violence day in and day out. This is a public health epidemic that we need to address as a whole," she said.
The Harrison District tactical officer and his partner were on patrol at about 2:30 p.m. in the 4600 block of West Maypole and saw what they suspected was a hand-to-hand drug deal between the woman and a man, police said.
They stopped and approached the 25-year-old woman and man to do a field interview. The man ran off, but the woman pulled a handgun and shot the officer in the chest, striking his vest, police said.
It's still unclear whether one or both officers shot the woman, a police spokesman said.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the woman's handgun was recovered.
The wounded officer was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood and was expected to go home Friday night, officials said. His partner was treated for anxiety, police said.
The woman suffered bullet wounds to the shoulder, leg, and abdomen, police said. She was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was in critical condition.
Johnson said police were looking for the man who ran away.