ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Police say a 4-year veteran of the police force was shot while sitting in his squad car early Thursday morning, but was saved by his bulletproof vest.
According to police, three squad cars were parked in the area of S. 3rd and Pope Streets around 1 a.m. when a shot rang out close by. Officials said the bullet went through the passenger door of the vehicle and struck the officer, who reported feeling a pain in his side. Police said the bullet did not penetrate his ballistic vest, and was later found on the floorboard of the vehicle.
“I don’t think it was random gunfire by any means whatsoever. These officers were in marked squad cars,” said Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd.
The officer was checked out at a local hospital as a precaution, but was otherwise uninjured.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Police Chief Carla Redd said police will “leave no stone unturned to ensure the perpetrators of last night’s heinous event are brought into custody.”
She added, “Our investigative unit has been doing a phenomenal job and we have some leads that we are following up on.”
“Coming after our men and women of the police department that put their lives on the line everyday to protect the city will not be tolerated,” Redd said. “Rest assured, we will be utilizing every resource to bring this person to justice.”
“The level of gun violence in Rockford is just not acceptable,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “Get out here and start sharing that information, because lives are on the line. We’ve already lost far too many citizens, and potentially last night we had a chance at a horrific tragedy, potentially losing one of our peacekeepers.”
Chief Redd said the officer will be off-duty for awhile following the shooting
Anyone with information is asked to contact Rockford Police at 815-966-2900 or by leaving an anonymous tip with Rockford Area Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867.