By Lukas Mikelionis
Published March 23, 2019
An off-duty Chicago cop was fatally shot early Saturday morning while sitting in a parked vehicle with another man, who was critically injured.
The Chicago Police Department said that the men, both 23, were shot in Chicago’s River North neighborhood around 3:30 a.m. The slain officer was later identified as John P. Rivera. He had finished his shift between 9 and 10 p.m. and had worked on a murder investigation earlier in the evening.
Two individuals approached the parked vehicle where Rivera and the other man were sitting, produced a gun and opened fire before quickly running off, police said, according to FOX 32 Chicago.
Rivera, a two-year veteran and patrol officer, died after getting shot in the chest, arm and mouth, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The other man was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He was reportedly shot in the chest and arm, WLS reported.
Police are investigating the shooting and have questioned people of interest.
During a press conference outside the hospital, Police Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio told the Chicago Tribune that Rivera and the attackers had "no problems, no words were exchanged, no robbery demand, no carjacking demand." He added it is a "very fresh investigation".
Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, has been reeling from widespread homicides and gun crime, becoming the crime capital of the country.
Although the city managed to reduce the number of homicides in 2018 compared to the two prior years, more people were killed in the city than in Los Angeles and New York City combined.
Chicago police reported 561 homicides were committed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018, compared to 660 homicides in 2017 and more than 770 in 2016, which marked a 19-year high and put a national spotlight on Chicago’s persistently high rates of gun violence.