An off-duty Chicago police officer was gunned down while he, a female civilian, another off-duty Chicago cop, and another police officer from a different department sat in a parked car, The Chicago Tribune is reporting. The officer’s name has been revealed as John P. Rivera.
According to Police Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio, Rivera and his partner had finished up a “tour of duty” at a nightclub in the city; ABC News reports that while there, Rivera had been comforting the victim of an earlier shooting that day.
After his shift, Rivera apparently gathered up his friends, who had been at the nightclub with him, and made it to the north side of the city, to the River North neighborhood. There, for reasons that aren’t clear, Rivera parked the car. It was 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
At that time, two unidentified men approached the car and, without saying a word, one of them opened fire on the vehicle’s occupants, says Riccio.
“One of them pulled a gun and fired. It does appear to be random. They did not have any confrontations with anybody.”
What’s more, nothing was taken from the car. By all accounts, the Chicago Police Department says, someone simply decided to commit a murder, and Rivera was chosen. Johnson says there was no indication to the assailants that any of the people in the car were police.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during an afternoon press conference that there was no police work going on at the time of the shooting.
“They were all friends going out to have a good time.”
John P. Rivera, 23, identified as off-duty CPD officer killed in River North shooting: https://t.co/AZ2RwtadXQ— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) March 23, 2019
Rivera was shot in the mouth, chest and right arm. He was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at about 3:50 a.m., according to police. The other officer who is not with the Chicago Police Department was critically injured as well; he was taken to an area hospital and is expected to survive. The other individuals were not hurt.
Speaking of shooting death of off-duty #Chicago police officer John Rivera, CPD Superintendent Johnson says there is no indication attackers knew police officers were in car. @nbcchicago pic.twitter.com/BO73fRaodr— Chris Coffey (@ChrisCoffeyNBC) March 23, 2019
The assailants fled on foot. As of this writing, no suspects have been identified, but Chicago police say they are interviewing a “person of interest.”
As for Rivera, he was only 23-years-old and had only been on the force for a couple of years. His superiors, describing him as a hard worker and an enthusiastic cop, say that he had his whole life and career in front of him.
“It’s a very sad day, we’re mourning the loss of yet another Chicago police officer.”