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On July 21st around 1:30 pm, Officer Victoria Mendoza and her partner Officer David Perez, assigned to the Deering District, responded to a “armed robbery just occurred call” in the 4300 block of south Ashland. Officers Mendoza and Perez monitored a flash message with a description of the suspects and spotted them as they crossed Ashland Avenue. The Officers exited their squad and the suspects turned and fired shots at the Officers. Officer Perez chased after the suspects on foot and Officer Mendoza quickly realized she had been shot in the knee by one of the suspects. While Officer Perez continued his chase, the suspects again shot at him.

Although injured, Officer Mendoza remained calm, called in that she needed an ambulance and eventually applied a tourniquet to slow down the bleeding from her gunshot wound. Officer Mendoza continued to announce the direction of her partner so responding officers could assist him. Meanwhile, Officer Perez chased the suspects who entered a getaway vehicle that took off quickly, then stopped suddenly and the suspects ran out of the vehicle. One of the suspects again fired shots toward Officer Perez. The suspects ran separate ways and Officer Perez followed one who climbed a fence into an alley. The other suspect confronted a man in an alley and tried to carjack the man’s van but when the suspect couldn’t open the door, he shot out the windows.

Officers responded to the gunfire and the suspect drove the van forward then placed it into reverse, pinning the other suspect into a garage before driving away. The wounded suspect crawled into the garage to hide from the police but was captured by Officer Perez. Police located the original getaway vehicle and found a 40 caliber handgun on the front seat. The driver of the vehicle was arrested after he came back to get the vehicle. The van was discovered abandoned a mile from the shooting. Days later, the third suspect who stole the van was captured. The investigation revealed the suspects had robbed a cellular store, ziptied customers and employees while threatening them with guns. All were charged with robbery and two with attempted murder.

Officer Victoria Mendoza served in the military before joining the Chicago Police Department. Officer Perez has returned to the street while Officer Mendoza continues to recover from her gunshot wound. We salute both Officers and commend them for their courageous battle with armed suspects that afternoon. We thank them for their service to our country, and our city, and are proud to honor them as our Officers of the Month for September.

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