A Chicago teen is facing seven attempted murder charges after he allegedly exchanged gunfire with a pair of Chicago police officers, who were both wounded, during a traffic stop early Sunday morning in the Homan Square neighborhood.
The Chicago Police Department announced the charges Monday morning against 19-year-old Jeffon Williams, who was also shot during the encounter, which occurred in the 3300 block of West Polk Street at approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Cook County Judge Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. ordered Williams held on a $10 million cash bond during a hearing Monday.
Williams was not present due to his injuries, but he is expected to survive.
The two police officers stopped Williams' vehicle after receiving a call about a person with a gun. CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said that when the officers began looking into the car, they observed a gun with an extended magazine.
“The officers have to make a split-second decision,” Deenihan said. “He’s near the gun, he’s not complying, he’s refusing to come out of the car, he’s extremely close to the gun. That’s when (the officers) have to break the window and remove him from the car.”
Following a scuffle between the trio, Williams allegedly began shooting at the officers. Other police on scene then returned fire, hitting Williams.
Cook County prosecutors outlined the incident in greater detail during the bond hearing Monday.
Williams allegedly refused repeated demands to exit the vehicle and would not unlock the vehicle. One of the officers then broke the driver’s side window on the car in an attempt to remove the defendant, at which point WIlliams turned on the car and revved the engine.
Multiple officers were able to pull Williams from the car and get him on the ground when he allegedly opened fire and hit the two officers. Two other police officers then backed off and took cover as Williams fled on foot, according to prosecutors.
As he ran, he allegedly fired at least three more shots at a pursuing officer, whose body camera captured “muzzle flashes” from the gun as it was fired, according to prosecutors. That officer returned fire and struck Williams in the arm and leg.
The two wounded officers are both part of a new mobile summer unit formed to address violent crime, according to Police Superintendent David Brown.
Brown said one of the wounded officers was struck in the shoulder and has been treated and released from the hospital. The other officer was shot multiple times in his upper torso and arm, and remains in the hospital after undergoing surgery.
Police said there is body cam footage of the shooting, but officials would not say exactly when that video could be made public. Brown said that decision is made in coordination with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, but he hopes the footage is published “sooner rather than later.”
Sunday’s incident brings the number of CPD officers who have been shot at this year to 51, including 10 who have been struck. Brown estimated that figure “quadruples” previous years’ totals and said he believes violent offenders have “acted with impunity” this year more so than in the past.
“I think there’s more than a suggestion that people are seeking to do harm to cops,” Brown said. “We’re hypervigilant anyway as a profession, but when officers are shot here and in other parts of the country, it makes us even more concerned about the safety of our officers.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.