A Brookfield police officer is recovering from a gunshot wound and a suspected drug dealer is dead following an undercover drug buy that turned violent Thursday night in Brookfield.
At approximately 8:15 p.m. Thursday a veteran Brookfield detective was conducting an undercover drug deal in the parking lot of a strip mall at the corner of 47th Avenue and Plainfield Road, while several officers from the Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT) waited nearby.
According to Brookfield Police Chief Thomas Schoenfeld, the officer had completed the transaction and identified himself as a police officer when the suspect, who has not yet been identified, resisted the arrest and attempted to flee the scene with the officer still in the vehicle.
Schoenfeld would not confirm whether the suspect was armed, who fired the first shot, whether there were shots fired within the vehicle or who wounded the Brookfield officer. Markings for at least seven shell casings, however, were still visible on the surface of the parking lot as of Friday morning.
Mohammad Akbar, owner of the Brook Food & Liquor in the strip mall, was assisting a customer at the cash register when he said he heard “four or five” gunshots coming from the parking lot.
“I went to the door and could see the coppers shooting at the car, and then he [drove] away,” Akbar said.
The suspect sped away eastbound down 47th Street with the Brookfield officer still inside, but the chase ended just a few blocks away at Forest Avenue, when police vehicles rammed the suspect’s car.
“There was a struggle at the scene and it continued on in the vehicle,” Schoenfeld said. “The chase stopped when there was vehicle contact between the offender’s vehicle and police units.”
Schoenfeld refused to speculate on the cause of the suspect’s death, but wouldn’t rule out the possibility that more shots may have been fired inside the vehicle. No shell casing markings were found on the ground where the chase ended.
The officer, a veteran detective who is a part of the Brookfield Police Department’s major crimes team, was released from the hospital after being treated for a bullet wound through his hand.
The suspected drug dealer was transported to Loyola University Medical Center, where he died of his wounds. The Cook County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy Friday morning.
The investigation into the events surrounding the drug bust and the man’s death are being investigated by the Illinois State Police. Schoenfeld said state police were in the process of obtaining a search warrant to search the interior of the dead man’s vehicle, and that state police had also processed the entire crime scene.
The last time a Brookfield police officer was shot in the line of duty was in 1986, when Richard Sebek was shot through both legs while trying to subdue a suspect during a brawl at a local wedding reception in 1986.