Driver Shot Dragging Chicago-Area Police Officer

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  • CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago police officer was released from a hospital Friday after being dragged by a car driven by fleeing Thanksgiving Day shoplifting suspects, one of whom was charged with attempted murder.

    Another police officer fired at the 52-year-old driver, who remained hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his arm following the Thursday night incident at a Kohl’s department store in Romeoville, the Romeoville Police Department said in a statement. The suburb is about 30 miles southwest of Chicago.

    The store reported suspected shoplifters to police just after 10 p.m. Thursday. As a patrol car approached the store, one suspect bolted out of a door, jumped into a waiting car and closed the door on the pursuing officer’s arm. The driver then drove off — hauling the officer with him.

    “The officer was dragged quite some distance,” Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey said at a news conference.

    Another officer repeatedly yelled at the driver to halt, then fired three or four shots, striking the driver with one bullet in the left arm and forcing him to stop, police said. The officer who became stuck in the car door injured his right shoulder.

    Authorities later identified the passenger as Robert Russell, 51, of Joliet, who was charged with attempted murder, according to the Will County Sheriff’s office website. The driver had not been charged as of Friday afternoon. A third man arrested in the store, Gerald Chamberlain, 28, of Joliet, was charged with felony theft.

    The online sheriff’s records did not include lawyers for either Russell or Chamberlain. There was no answer at a telephone number for a Robert Russell in Joliet. And there was no listing for a Gerald Chamberlain in the city.

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