CHICAGO -- A Chicago police sergeant is under investigation after he showed up at the scene of a fatal shooting over the weekend while off duty and was forcibly led away by officers.
"You're gonna cuff me? You're gonna (expletive) cuff me?" the off-duty sergeant protested as officers grabbed his arms and walked him toward a police car after the shooting on Lower Wacker Drive around 3 a.m. Sunday.
The sergeant repeatedly stated his name, rank and badge number and referred to the police district where he works. "You know who I am, right?" he asked the officers.
Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Police Department, confirmed in an email that an off-duty sergeant got into an "altercation" with officers on the scene and may have been drunk.
"The off-duty sergeant had no involvement in the investigation and got into an altercation with First District personnel after he attempted to enter the crime scene area," Guglielmi said. "Alcohol may have been a contributing factor. The specifics of what transpired are now under investigation by internal affairs."
The department's internal affairs division is conducting an investigation into whether the sergeant violated any rules. Officials were not naming the sergeant because of the pending investigation and because no charges have been filed, Guglielmi said.
"Every member of the Chicago Police Department is held to the highest standards both on and off duty," he said.
The shooting in the 500 block of East Lower Wacker Drive claimed the life of Mario A. Guerrero, 24.
Witnesses told police Guerrero was driving a gray Chevy north on Lake Shore Drive when he stopped at a light at Wacker and a dark SUV playing loud music pulled up. Someone in the SUV began yelling and one shot was fired, hitting Guerrero in the chest. Two more shots rang out before the SUV sped off.
Two teens on their way home passed Guerrero's car and heard people crying for help, so they turned around. "It felt like the best thing to do," said one young man, who didn't want his name published.
The teens saw others help Guerrero out of the driver's seat and lay him on the ground before trying CPR. One of the teens said he was traumatized by the sight of the stranger dying on the street. His friend, Haley Thomas, said she felt the same way. "For the rest of my life," said Thomas, 18.
Guerrero was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead. No arrests have been reported by police.
Responding officers initially set up a small crime scene with red tape, later adding a buffer zone in yellow and eventually closing off a stretch of Wacker between Columbus Drive and Lake Shore Drive.
A man wearing orange sweatpants paced inside the scene, talking loudly into his phone about the shooting, while a woman in a denim jacket stood still, speaking only when police asked her questions. "They just rolled up," the man in orange said into the phone. "Started saying things ... "
An officer, on his own phone, covered the mouthpiece and called out to the pair about the shooter. "Where was he sitting at?" the officer asked. "The passenger or driver's side?"
"Passenger," the woman said.
Several cars heading east, in the turn lane to go south onto Lake Shore, slowed or stopped as they approached the scene. Officers flashed bright lights in their direction. "Let's go," an officer yelled. "Move!" A white car with a yellow tree air freshener dangling from the rearview mirror pulled over next to the scene. The officer held his light on the car. "Move!" he repeated and the car drove away.
Across the crime scene, the off-duty sergeant had been talking to police, then walked away to stand near two other men several yards away. One wore a white T-shirt and had streaks of red blood from his nose that had started to dry.
Minutes later, the off-duty sergeant walked back toward the crime tape. He exchanged a few words with the officers, who told him not to come inside the scene. "Stay over there," they warned. "Stay on the other side."
But the sergeant bolted under the tape and into the scene. Officers intercepted him and he continued to argue with them.
"I know who you are," an officer said, telling him to relax as they walked him out of the crime scene to the nearby police car. They opened the rear passenger side door.
"Boss, I'm not sitting in that car," the sergeant was heard saying. Eventually most of the officers walked away. The sergeant, now uncuffed, lingered in the street talking to two uniformed officers. He said he was an off-duty sergeant and said he had tried to revive the man who was shot. "You know who I am," he kept saying.
City records show a Chicago police sergeant with the name and badge number given by the man. Several officers on the scene said they knew who he was. One of the officers who talked with the off-duty sergeant pointed out a reporter nearby writing down what he was saying.
"That's not how you treat other police officers," the off-duty sergeant said. "I'm gonna have a lawsuit, I got cuffed. ... I'm a sergeant of police, I'm a sergeant of police, OK, so -- so who cuffed me?"
One of the officers acknowledged his involvement in the cuffing.
"You? OK, I assisted, tried to help the victim that got shot," the off-duty sergeant said. "I got cuffed because I'm trying to help the victim, I did CPR on him."
Guglielmi said he had no record of the off-duty sergeant performing any type of CPR or helping in any other way.
The sergeant also told the officers that he had been with two other men in a cab when they came upon the shooting, referring to one of his companions as a "copper."
Guglielmi confirmed other officers were there with the sergeant but said he was "not clear what, if any, involvement they had" and that internal affairs will continue to investigate.
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