Widespread damage reported in Chicago after crowds clash with police

National

CHICAGO – Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police early Monday in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city’s downtown.

At one point, shots were fired at police and officers returned fire, police spokesman Tom Ahern said on Twitter. No officers were injured in the shooting.

It wasn’t immediately clear what led to the unrest, which began shortly after midnight, but anti-police graffiti was seen in the area. Hours earlier, dozens of people had faced off with police after officers shot and wounded a person Sunday in the city’s Englewood neighborhood.

Asked for updates on the situation, Ahern told The Associated Press in an email that police planned to hold a news conference Monday morning.

Along the Magnificent Mile, people were seen going in and out of stores carrying shopping bags full of merchandise as well as at a bank, the Chicago Tribune reported, and as the crowd grew vehicles dropped off more people in the area.

One officer was seen slumped against a building, several arrests were made and a rock was thrown at a police vehicle, the newspaper said. Police worked early Monday to disperse the crowds.

In the earlier shooting in Englewood, police said in a statement that they responded about 2:30 p.m. Sunday to a call about a person with a gun and tried to confront someone matching his description in an alley. He fled from officers on foot and shot at officers, police said.

Officers returned fire, wounding him, and a gun was recovered, police said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and three officers involved also were taken to a hospital for observation, the statement said.

More than an hour after the shooting, police and witnesses said a crowd faced off with police after someone reportedly told people that police had shot and wounded a child. That crowd eventually dispersed.

WGN reported people were filling trash bags with merchandise and turning over garbage cans.

2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins told WGN he witnessed people driving up in vehicles, smashing windows of stores on Michigan Avenue and grab items and drive away.

WGN contributed to this report.

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