Newly-released body camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in Chicago last month shows a suspect opened fire at point-blank range on two officers who were responding to reports of gunfire in the area. Both officers were wounded, and one of the policemen returned fire, striking the gunman.
According to the May 16 video released June 9, two Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers got out of their vehicles and began walking slowly toward the suspect. They ordered the suspect to stop, but he refused and took out a gun, firing at the two officers.
“Once in the area responding officers were given a description of the suspected individual by a local resident. After locating the individual, officers verbally engaged but were ignored as the suspect continued down an alley in the direction of other responding officers. Officers again verbally engaged the individual who then discharged a firearm, striking two officers. Officers returned fire striking the suspect,” the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability stated.
Both officers, Julio Garcia, 28, and Mark Nakayama, 25, were transported to local hospitals. The CPD Original Case Incident Report stated the officers’ injuries were “serious,” with Garcia sustaining one gunshot wound and Garcia enduring two. The suspect, Bruce Lua, 45, was also taken to a nearby hospital. All have recovered.
Lua is facing several charges, including two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery against a peace officer, and felony use/possession of a firearm, the department’s arrest report stated.
“Today’s release within 24 days of the incident is consistent with our commitment to transparency and the timely release of video and other materials,” said Interim Chief Administrator Andrea Kersten. “At a time when the public demands answers, specifically as it relates to officer involved shootings and the release of video footage, it is important that COPA remains the civilian oversight agency that is timely and trusted.”
COPA said the investigation into the officer’s use of force is continuing, and the group encourages witnesses who may have additional information to contact the office at (312) 746-3609 or visit chicagocopa.org.
The footage comes as Chicago continues to see rampant gun crime in the city. Over the weekend, at least three people were killed and 42 more wounded in shootings, including a mass shooting Saturday on the 7500-block of South Prairie Avenue that left one dead and nine others injured, ABC 7 reported.
“This is a tragedy. Right now, I am praying for the victims and families at this time. Let me be clear, these attacks on 75th Street or, anywhere in our communities, are unacceptable. We have been working hard to rebuild 75th Street as a thriving business corridor, and the community is committed to this vision,” 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer said, according to ABC 7.
“These past nights will not undo years of hard work and business development. These are the actions of a few; who were not patronizing the businesses. I am committed to continued investment in violence prevention methods and ensuring our communities are safe.”