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Off-duty Chicago firefighter shot 13 times while cutting lawn and talking to neighbors

Chicago police process a crime scene in the 9900 block of S. Yale Avenue in Chicago where there was a reported shooting on April 30, 2020. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune/TNS)

An off-duty Chicago firefighter who was shot several times while chatting with friends and cutting the lawn on the Far South Side Thursday night fired back at the assailant in self-defense, officials said.

The firefighter, 54, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was stabilized and where his family was gathered at his bedside Thursday night, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

“He had multiple gunshot wounds to his lower extremities,” Langford said.

About 6:45 p.m. an assailant ran past the fireman and several of his friends who about talking near an alley or gangway and fired thirteen times at them near the 9900 block of South Yale Avenue in the Fernwood neighborhood, Langford and police said.

After bullets ripped through the fireman’s ankle, buttocks and right leg, he returned fire in self-defense, but didn’t hit anyone, police said. He was not the intended target.

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Patrol officers from the 22nd District who rushed to the scene spotted a suspect and gave chase on foot, eventually taking a 25-year-old man into custody.

Officers retrieved the alleged gunman’s coat and gun in a garbage can near the shooting scene.

The fireman, who holds a valid concealed and carry license, had been cutting the grass around the time of the shooting, Langford said.

He been with the department since 1994 and is assigned to a South Side firehouse, Langford said.

Police have not announced charges as of Friday afternoon.

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© 2020 the Chicago Tribune