Hundreds of people smashed windows and looted stores in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the city’s downtown shopping district, on Sunday night and early Monday morning, according to videos and reports from the scene.
Officers shot at least one person and chased suspects toting bags full of goods, tackling some to the ground and blocking off streets as they sought to restore order to the area.
It’s not clear what sparked the unrest. But it followed a tense day between police and Black residents after police shot and wounded a man in the city’s South Side, sparking a violent standoff between dozens of officers and angry neighbors.
A Chicago police spokesman said that as of early Monday morning, police had no details on how many arrests had been made or how widespread the damage was to businesses downtown.
“Right now, it’s still an ongoing situation. It’s still an ongoing scene,” Officer Hector Alfaro told The Washington Post.
Videos show looters roaming up the street, bashing their way into stores including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Rack and a Tesla dealership. Some cars dropped off more people at the scene, the Chicago Tribune reported, and at one point, a U-Haul van pulled into the area.
Just south of the Magnificent Mile, police were shot and returned fire, a spokesman said on Twitter, though it is unclear if the alleged offenders were shot.
As police closed off highway ramps, bus and train service was halted downtown at the “request of public safety officials,” the city’s transit agency tweeted.
The violent scene came hours after a massive police response to the shooting in the South Side’s Englewood neighborhood. The shooting happened around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, WGN reported, after officers responded to a call about a man with a gun and then chased a suspect on foot.
The suspect turned and shot at police, Deputy Chief Yolanda Talley told reporters, leading officers to return fire and hit the man, who hasn’t been identified. The suspect, who Talley said was in his late teens or 20s, was taken to a hospital in “unknown” condition, WGN reported.
A crowd quickly gathered nearby and tempers flared after police allegedly took a cellphone away from someone who had filmed the shooting. Soon, rows of police faced off with a rapidly growing group.
Someone threw a brick through a police car’s window, the Tribune reported, and one officer was hit with mace. Two people in the crowd were later arrested.
“Emotions were running high. They were responding to misinformation,” Talley told reporters. “It happened while we were processing the crime scene. We were holding the line and if there had not been a crime scene there, we would have not been there.”
The shooting was not captured on police body cameras, she added. The city’s police oversight agency is leading an investigation into the incident, WMAQ reported.