Police officers in Illinois are heralding a man with a concealed-carry license for his bravery. The unidentified man came to the assistance of officers engaged in a shootout with a suspect using an automatic weapon. Yes, an automatic weapon.
Cicero Police Officer Luis Duarte was shot four times in the shootout, and according to the Chicago Sun-Times, officials stated if it were not for the armed citizen, the situation could have ended up a lot worse.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday evening that Officer Luis Duarte and his partner were performing a traffic stop before the car took off onto a ramp toward the interstate. The car then stopped at the top of the ramp, and the driver began to fire at officers.
Just after 5 p.m., Duarte and his partner tried to pull over a vehicle in the 3900 block of South Cicero for a “routine traffic stop,” but the car took off onto the ramp to southbound Interstate 55, according to police.
When the officers boxed the car in traffic at the top of the ramp, the man at the wheel got out and began firing an automatic weapon, hitting Duarte twice in the arm, once in the leg and once in the abdomen, officials said.
After being boxed in, the suspect ran from officers as he continued to return fire. As officers engaged the suspect, the concealed-carrier, whose identity is unknown, got out of his car and started to fire at the suspect as well.
The suspect was struck and is reported to be in serious condition. The report also states that police don’t yet know if the shot that hit the suspect was from the responding officers or the armed citizen. Regardless, the man who came to the aide of the officers is receiving the praise he rightfully deserves.
Details about how the suspect obtained the automatic weapon have gone unreported. Shootings involving the use of actual automatic weapons, not just semi-automatic firearms that are able to fire more rapidly due to attachments like a bump stock — which is rare itself — are extremely rare.
When it comes to concealed carry in the state of Illinois, an individual is required to have a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card and a concealed carry license (CCL). A FOID card, issued by the Illinois State Police, allows a person to possess a firearm and ammunition. In recent years, Illinois moved from being a “may issue” state when it came to concealed carry licenses to a “shall issue” state, according to the Illinois Bar Journal. After meeting the legal requirements and paying a $150 application fee, a gun owner will receive their concealed carry license, which allows them to carry a firearm, loaded or unloaded, on their person and in their vehicle.
For a state known for its gun control, its good to see a law-abiding citizen exercising their Second Amendment right to defend the lives of two men who put their lives at risk every day to keep the public safe.
Cicero’s town President Larry Dominick commented on the heroism of the citizen.
“He got out and started helping the police, which is something I’ve got to be proud of,” he said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Officer Duarte was stable and alert as first responders transported him to the hospital. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that he is in “good condition.”