A veteran Chicago police officer is charged with felony reckless discharge of a firearm after she allegedly opened fire on juveniles who stole her SUV while she was loading it with groceries outside an Evergreen Park store on Saturday evening. No injuries were reported.
The officer’s stolen car made its way to the Loop, where it crashed as on-duty officers tried to pull it over about two hours later. Five juveniles were arrested.
Oneta Carney and her husband were loading purchases into their 2022 Toyota 4Runner at Sam’s Club, 9400 South Western Avenue, when three males asked if they needed help around 6:45 p.m., prosecutors said.
One of the males then opened the SUV’s driver’s door, climbed in, and drove away with the vehicle. Prosecutors said none of the males threatened Carney or her husband, and none of the offenders displayed any weapons.
Carney and her husband ran after the car, and the other two males ran from the scene.
But the driver of the stolen SUV stopped momentarily so one of the offenders who was running could climb inside. Carney pulled out her 9-millimeter handgun and fired at the car as it started moving again, prosecutors said. The bullet reportedly struck the ground behind the vehicle.
The stolen SUV was moving away from Carney when she fired, prosecutors said, but another car not involved in the incident was moving in her direction. According to the allegations, adults and children were walking in adjacent parking aisles when Carney fired her weapon.
Prosecutors said that Carney called 911 to report the crime, but she did not reveal that she had fired her weapon. When investigators seized her firearm, they allegedly found it was one round short of being fully loaded.
Public records indicate Oneta Sampson, the name listed as the SUV’s registered owner in a CPD traffic crash report, is a 58-year-old woman who has been a CPD officer for 19 years. An archived copy of the Chicago Police Sergeant’s Association newsletter indicates Sampson became a sergeant in April 2020. It is not clear why different last names are used in various records.
Carney’s private defense attorney said she is a 58-year-old sergeant with 19 years of service. The defense attorney argued that Carney and her husband were the actual victims and said Carney could only afford to pay $100 bail.
Carney’s CPD salary last year was $118,998, according to city records.
Judge Arthur Willis set bail at $5,000, meaning Carney must post $500 to get out of jail.
“You’ve done excellent work over the years,” Willis told Carney after setting bail. “This is a one-time error.”
But Willis added that it would be unfair for him to treat Carney differently than other defendants in similar circumstances.
The Chicago Police Department confirmed that Oneta Sampson is a sergeant on the force, but CPD was unaware that charges were filed against her when CWBChicago inquired about the case.
Around 8:35 p.m. Saturday, on-duty Chicago cops spotted Carney’s stolen SUV in the Loop and tried to pull it over on the 200 block of West Wacker Drive. The vehicle crashed into another car and six males ran from the stolen SUV. Police said a 26-year-old man and five juveniles were taken into custody.
Charges have been filed against the five juveniles, Sgt. Rocco Alioto said Sunday. Four are charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle, and one is charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle and aggravated fleeing and eluding.
A source said some of the offenders are only 11-years-old.
Supervisors at the Evergreen Park Police Department did not return a call seeking information for this report.
Update November 2, 2022: Carney was found not guilty.