The United States Attorney's Office has filed criminal charges in federal court against a 28-year-old man, accusing him of shooting a Chicago police officer and two ATF agents Wednesday.
Eugene McLaurin, 28, is charged with one count of using a dangerous and deadly weapon to assault a special agent. The charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, according to prosecutors.
Additional charges are possible, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors also declined to say whether there were additional suspects, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.
McLaurin appeared in court on Thursday.
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According to the criminal complaint, two ATF agents and an ATF Task Force officer were driving in an unmarked vehicle early Wednesday while participating in an investigation on Chicago's South Side.
The officers noticed that a white Chevrolet sedan was following their vehicle, and they took note of the license plate. The driver of that vehicle then pulled up alongside the officers' vehicle, the driver's side window rolled down, and a man began to fire shots.
Law enforcement officers located the sedan parked on a street in Chicago shortly after the shooting, according to authorities. McLaurin's identification was found in the vehicle, and he was found at a nearby home, where he was then taken into custody.
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According to prosecutors, McLaurin told detectives that he believed that the three officers were rival gang members, and admitted that he was driving the car that was following the officers.
The three law enforcement officers were taken to area hospitals, and were treated and released.
One of the ATF agents was shot in the hand, the other was shot in the arm and the Chicago police officer suffered a graze wound to the back of the head, possibly caused by a bullet or glass, Brown and Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.
deTineo said she could not share how long the agents had been with the ATF but said they were both "senior agents" and "not brand new trainees." Brown noted that the Chicago police officer had been on the force for "quite some time" and was a senior officer as well.
Moments after President Joe Biden landed in McHenry County, Illinois, in a suburb northwest of Chicago, his press secretary addressed the shooting, saying the administration is "closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with the Department of Justice and ATF."
"We stand ready to provide any assistance needed," Jen Psaki said. "Our thoughts go out to the to ATF agents in the Chicago Police Department officer who were wounded, as well as their families and fellow agents and officers.”
Chicago police spokesman Tom Ahern said Tuesday that eight officers had been shot in 2021 as of the day before, that number rising to 11 with the latest shooting. A total of 36 officers have been shot or shot at so far this year, Brown said Wednesday.
"I think this highlights some of the things I've been saying over the last several weeks," Brown said. "The officers are performing their jobs at the highest level. They're risking everything to protect the people of Chicago and this includes our collaboration with ATF officers."
"They are doing their part and no one would do what these officers do right now," he continued. "This is a very challenging time to be in law enforcement. But they are rising to the challenge, doing all they can and really the work that they do is extremely dangerous."