Chicago police release 'people of interest' photos in 'Empire' actor's alleged attack case

Photos of "people of interest" connected to the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett were released by the Chicago Police Department Wednesday night.

Smollett, 36, told investigators he was brutally attacked early Tuesday by two unknown men who yelled out "racial and homophobic slurs."

Police on Wednesday night released photos of "people of interest" in connection with the alleged attack against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.

Police on Wednesday night released photos of "people of interest" in connection with the alleged attack against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett. (Chicago Police Department)

The police department said earlier Wednesday that they reviewed hundreds of hours of footage from downtown surveillance cameras, but had yet to find footage of the alleged attack.

But hours later Chicago Police's Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi released two photos of those possibly connected to the alleged beating on Twitter.

'EMPIRE' ACTOR JUSSIE SMOLLETT HOSPITALIZED AFTER ATTACK; POLICE INVESTIGATING AS POSSIBLE HATE CRIME

"While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed," Guglielmi wrote.

The pictures appear to show two people, dressed in dark clothing, walking along a sidewalk next to a building.

"While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed," police said.

"While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed," police said. (Chicago Police Department)

Investigators told Fox News that while walking near the Chicago River around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Smollett said two men approached him and yelled, "This is MAGA country." The actor told police the men struck him in the face with their hands and poured an unknown chemical on him before wrapping a rope around his neck.

Smollett, according to authorities, took himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment.

FOOTAGE OF 'EMPIRE' ACTOR JUSSIE SMOLLETT'S ALLEGED ATTACK SOUGHT BY POLICE

"Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime," the Chicago police said in a statement after the alleged attack. "Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline."

Smollett plays openly gay musician Jamal Lyon on the Fox series. The actor told Ellen DeGeneres in 2015 that he identifies as gay but does not discuss his personal life in public.

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In a statement to Fox News, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said: “We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night. We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”

"Empire" is shot in Chicago and is currently in production. A spokesperson for Fox Broadcasting Company confirmed to Fox News Wednesday night that "security has been increased on the production and Mr. Smollett."

Fox News' Matt Finn and Sasha Savitsky contributed to this report.