The Chicago police department is saying that the two officers who were ambushed in a van were the victims of La Raza and they believe they were using an AR-15 rifle. The two officers were investigating a murder, when two cars pulled up by their van and opened fire with a pistol and a rifle. The two officers are extremely lucky to be alive. The attack occurred on the turf of a gang that is a rival of La Raza. Police are not certain if it was a planned attack or just an opportunistic one.
Chicago Police believe members of the notorious Mexican street gang La Raza used an AR-style rifle to carry out a brazen attack on Tuesday that left two plainclothes officers wounded and touched off a citywide manhunt.
Gunmen shot up an unmarked police van with a handgun and a .223 caliber rifle, most likely an AR-15, department sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Police say both officers were shot with a “high-powered weapon” — one in the hip and arm and the other in the back. The officers were released from Stroger Hospital on Wednesday after receiving treatment for non-life threatening wounds.
“It’s a miracle the officers are still alive,” said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
The shooting sparked a frantic search for the assailants, believed to be La Raza members prowling in rival gang territory. Police recovered a rifle and a handgun from an abandoned Chrysler minivan thought to be one of the vehicles used in the attack, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Investigators are currently questioning three “persons of interest” and are searching for two additional suspects. It is unclear whether the officers were the target of a planned attack or randomly targeted.
“It’s just another example of how dangerous this job is,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a press conference on Wednesday. “And I think people take it for granted that when police officers come to work every day, they put their lives on the line every single day they get in their car.”