ATF agent shot in the face during mission to investigate illegal guns in Chicago

An undercover ATF agent was expected to survive after being shot in the face Friday in Chicago during a joint operation with the city's police force.

The agent was rushed to a hospital in critical condition after shots rang out in the Back of the Yard neighborhood around 3:15 a.m. local time, but the injuries he suffered to his face were not considered life-threatening, police told the Chicago Tribune.

“Officer hit, we need an escort to the hospital now!” an officer is heard saying in police scanner traffic in the moments after the shooting. “We need an ambulance as soon as possible. Find someone to meet us. He may be hit in the head.”

Officials said the agent is part of a joint task force with the ATF, Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police investigating the flow of illegal firearms into the Windy City, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The exact details of the mission are still unclear, however, and no one has been taken into custody in the shooting.

The Back of the Yards neighborhood has become a hotbed for gang-related shootings in the last two years, leading to the deaths of 50 people out of the more than 140 that have been hit by gunfire, according to the Chicago Tribune.

A second officer was taken to a local hospital for observation following the Friday shooting but he was not hit by gunfire, police said.

In 2017, the ATF sent 20 agents to Chicago to help local authorities combat the city's gun violence epidemic. The agents reportedly joined dozens already in the city, according to US News.

Before the announcement about the agent surge, President Trump tweeted: "Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!"