Chief: Teen likely shot by E.C. officer after chase, crash into squad

2013-02-20T20:00:00Z 2013-02-21T00:10:05Z Chief: Teen likely shot by E.C. officer after chase, crash into squadTimes Staff
February 20, 2013 8:00 pm  • 

EAST CHICAGO | A police pursuit of a stolen vehicle in East Chicago late Tuesday ended with a suspect crashing into a squad car and shots being fired by police at fleeing suspects.

According to East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker, a 17-year-old suspect is believed to have been shot in the leg by an East Chicago officer in connection with the incident.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Becker said at 11:25 p.m. Tuesday, one of his officers approached a vehicle with its taillights out in the 4500 block of Euclid Avenue. The vehicle, which had three people inside, had been reported stolen earlier in the day in East Chicago, Becker said.

The officer requested backup and tried to pull the driver over. The driver slowed down near East 144th and Ivy streets, then drove off, starting a pursuit with several East Chicago squads, Becker said.

The driver approached the railroad crossing near East Chicago and Kennedy avenues as the crossing gates began to drop. Becker said the driver tried to drive around the downed gate, but clipped it before hitting an East Chicago squad car on the other side of the tracks.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged in the crash.

Several people began running from the vehicle, Becker said. An 18-year-old man was taken into custody at the scene and is being held pending approval of auto theft charges, he said.

One officer fired his weapon during a foot pursuit of the fleeing suspects. Shortly thereafter, a 17-year-old boy entered St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago with a gunshot wound to the leg, Becker said. The teen told hospital representatives he had been shot during a robbery, he said.

Becker said the Lake County Sheriff's Department is investigating what appears to be a police-involved shooting related to the incident.

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