Police accountability investigator fired over shooting incident

Chicago’s police oversight agency fired one of its investigators on Monday, just one day after the 39-year-old allegedly fired a handgun at suspected auto thieves on the West Side.

Sydney Roberts, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s chief administrator, said Monday, “COPA has strict policies, a code of conduct and high standards for every employee of the agency.” 

COPA employees are expected “to use sound judgment under difficult circumstances. When the actions of any employee violate the policies of this agency, we will hold them accountable,” Roberts continued.

CWBChicago first reported on the incident Sunday evening.

Confrontation

Chicago police officers heard gunfire on the 1300 block of South Central Park around 5:30 a.m. Sunday and began following a vehicle that they saw leaving the area. CPD gunshot detection technology also identified three gunshots on the same block of Central Park at the same time.

Police pulled the car over and interviewed the driver, who worked as a COPA investigator and as an auxiliary police officer for a west suburb. The man is a concealed carry license holder, according to Chicago police.

The COPA employee told police that he saw two people getting into his stolen vehicle on the 1300 block of South Central Park and he fired two shots at the men who then fled in the stolen car, according to a CPD spokesperson. 

It is not known if anyone was struck by the gunfire, the spokesperson said. CPD referred all other questions to COPA.

A source said the car had been stolen from the COPA employee’s son, possibly in a carjacking. The son’s cellphone was still in the car and the COPA employee followed pings from the phone to located the vehicle on Central Park, according to the source.

Chicago police detectives are investigating the incident. No criminal charges had been filed as of midday Monday.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com