Magnificent Mile Mayhem: Chaos Erupts In Downtown Chicago With Looting, Gunfire; More Than 100 Arrested, At Least 2 People Shot

By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chaos erupted in downtown Chicago early Monday morning, with reports of looting and property damage, as well as shots fired at and by police.

According to Police Superintendent David Brown, more than 100 people were arrested, 13 officers have been injured, and countless businesses were damaged across multiple Chicago neighborhoods.

What police believe led to the overnight looting:

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Monday morning officers responded Sunday afternoon to a call of a man with a gun in the 5700 block of South Racine Avenue. He said officers spotted the suspect and attempted to interview the individual, who "quickly fled. As this person was running away, a gun held by this person was pointed at our police officers who gave chase. And this person fired shots at our officers."

Brown said officers returned fire and struck the individual, who was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital "and is expected to survive."  

The superintendent said the shooter is a 20-year-old man with four previous arrests with charges including burglary, child endangerment, and domestic battery.

"I am relieved to say none of our officers were hurt in this shooting. A gun was recovered from the scene," he said.

After this shooting, Brown said, a crowd gathered on the South Side.

"Soon, car caravans were headed into the Loop. This was not an organized protest; rather, this was an incident of pure criminality. This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city," Brown said.

According to NBC Chicago, CPD Deputy Chief Yolanda Talley said Sunday evening the emotional response came from "one agitator being on the scene, getting people all worked up without having the full story."

According to police officials, one officer was maced by someone in the crowd, and another suffered an injured shoulder. Additionally, someone threw a brick at a CPD cruiser, shattering its windows.

"The seeds for the same full destruction we saw last night were sown in the 5700 block of South Racine Avenue," Brown said.

More than 100 arrested following looting; 13 officers injured: 

The unrest began around 12:20 a.m. Monday, when police were called to reports of a mob scene on Michigan Avenue. Videos posted to social media showed large crowds breaking windows and entering stores along the Magnificent Mile.

More video from looting that was happening overnight downtown. This was from outside Macy’s and the horns you hear are not from the traffic backup. It was apparently to warn looters the police were coming. Minutes later, police were there. @WBBMNewsradio #looting #Chicago

— Bernie Tafoya (@BernieTafoya) August 10, 2020

Gun shots could be heard throughout the downtown area as police responded to the scene of widespread looting and property damage.

"As of now, Chicago police have made more than 100 arrests for looting, disorderly conduct, battery against police, among other charges. A total of 13 officers have been injured throughout the night, including a sergeant who was struck with a bottle. Another officer had his nose broken as he fought with a group of looters," Brown said.

"...When you talk about being overwhelmed, I'm not sure I can digest when officers are doing their job, making arrests under the threat of being shot at — I would do nothing but applaud the efforts of the Chicago Police officers in response to a social media post and almost immediately caravans of cars going to our downtown area."

In the last seven days, a total of nine officers have been shot at in Chicago, Brown said. 

"What we are seeing is violence against police," he said.

RELATED: Can Mag Mile Businesses Pull Through After Pandemic, Civil Unrest Has Slashed Revenue?

Chicago police exchange gunfire with person amid downtown looting:

Just before 5 a.m., Chicago police confirmed an officer did exchange gunfire with a suspect early Monday morning near Michigan Avenue and Lake Street.According to CPD spokesperson Tom Ahern, someone fired shots at responding officers and police returned fire.

No officers were injured and it was not immediately clear whether anyone was hit, Ahern said in a tweet.

Police involved shooting Michigan and Lake. Shots fired at police who returned fire. No officers injured. Unknown at this time if offenders were shot. #ChicagoPolice

— Tom Ahern (@TomAhernCPD) August 10, 2020

The incident happened shortly before 4 a.m. and no one was hit by gunfire, according to Civilian Office of Police Accountability spokesman Ephraim Eaddy. COPA will investigate the shooting.

"In one incident last night, officers were arresting a looting suspect at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street. This person was carrying a cash register he had looted out of a store. As officers were making the arrest, another vehicle passed by the officers and fired shots at the officers, as their vehicle turned the corner, resulting in an exchange in gunfire between officers and the suspects. A bullet was found lodged in the cage of the police vehicle," Brown said.

At least two people shot during civil unrest:

According to Chicago Fire Department officials, a security guard was wounded in a shooting shortly before 4 a.m. in the 400 block of North Clark Street. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

Officials also said a second man was shot at about 2 a.m. near Madison and Wabash. He was also taken to Northwestern in critical condition.

Five guns were recovered during the civil unrest, Brown said.

"In fact, CPD has recovered a total of 49 guns this weekend. Another 164 guns were handed in as part of a gun turn in event on the West Side. Gun arrests in this city are up 15 percent this year compared to 2019..." Brown said.

So far this year, Chicago police have recovered 6,189 guns, he said. 

Weekend Gun Violence:

There were 31 shootings throughout the city Friday through Sunday, Brown said; three were murders.

"These shootings incidents, and the looting we saw overnight, are completely unacceptable. Criminals took to the streets with confidence there would be no consequences for their actions.

"I, for one, refuse to allow these cowardly acts to hold our city hostage," he said. "CPD will not stand by as our beautiful downtown becomes a place people fear. I have instructed our detective units to create a special team of investigators to look at the hours of pod camera footage from last night. We have high-definition video of suspects and vehicles. If others have video, would you please forward them to

"I pledge to pursue these offenders to the fullest extent of the law. A heavy police presence will continue throughout the downtown area today and until further notice. Officers will return to working 12-hour shifts and all days off have been canceled until further notice."

BREAKING: Access to Downtown Chicago restricted overnight:

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced Monday that downtown access will be restricted 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., as the city works to prevent another night of looting and unrest.

"The department also has its eyes in the neighborhoods to ensure looting does not spread, based on our lessons learned. Officers will be deployed in a large measure to our neighborhoods to protect the neighborhoods. This is a beautiful city and Chicago police officers will not allow this selfish criminal act to destroy what generations of hard work have built."

Mayor Lori Lightfoot also spoke Monday morning following overnight looting downtown.

"We are waking up in shock this morning. The early morning hours of today, dozens of individuals came to our Loop, Mag Mile, River North, and Gold Coast neighborhoods, as well as our commercial district around North and Clybourn. These individuals engaged in what only could be described as brazen and extensive criminal looting and destruction. To be clear, this had nothing to do with legitimate, protected First Amendment expression," Lightfoot said.

The Mayor said the city is investigating reports that this activity was connected to a shooting and resulting activity that took place in Englewood on Sunday.

"Regardless, what occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject, criminal behavior, pure and simple. And there cannot be any excuse for it, period. This is not legitimate First Amendment protected speech. These were not poor people engaged in petty theft to feed themselves and their families. This was straight-up felony criminal conduct."

The Mayor said the city has activated a neighborhood protection plan, which involved city agencies like Streets and Sanitation, CDOT, Aviation, working in coordination with the Chicago Police Department.

"These resources are being deployed throughout our city to protect our neighborhoods, and likewise these measures will be in place for the foreseen days until we know that our neighborhoods are safe.

"What happened in our city last night and this morning, of course, is deeply painful for every Chicagoan...This was an assault on our city. This undermines public safety and breeds a sense of insecurity among our residents. It also undermines our recovery efforts. These same stores that were hit last night were hit previously not just by looting, but closures due to COVID-19..." Lightfoot said.

She thanked police "for their professionalism throughout these very difficult times, not just last night" and ensured residents that the city is doing everything it can so that people can return to their daily lives "safely and securely."

To the looters, the Mayor said: "There is no justification for criminal behavior, ever. You have no right, no right, to take and destroy the property of others. Our residents deserve to be safe. Our businesses deserve to understand and enjoy safety and security of their property and in their employees. And our police officers deserve to be able to do their job without having to worry about shots being fired, projectiles being thrown, and being maced. This is not anywhere near acceptable. And I call upon our state's attorney and our courts to make sure these individuals who are arrested and those to come are held accountable. Put your best people on this. We have made the case, we have the video, we have the officer testimony; these people need to be held accountable and not cycle through the system," Lightfoot said. "We can't continue to allow this to happen...

"The gains we have been able to make as a city though all these challenges - the pandemic, the righteous uprising in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the other things that we have done to demonstrate that Chicago is back and resilient. We have been able to do this because we stood together, shoulder to shoulder, neighborhood to neighborhood, neighbor to neighbor. We can't abandon that which has served us well over this difficult time. But part of that means that we have to also step up in a time of challenge like this one and give no shelter to the criminals...People in neighborhoods know who these folks are. This is your time to step up and demonstrate your aligience and your loyalty to this city and report these people who engage in criminal activity. We cannot do this without you...We are not going to let our city be taken over by criminals and vigilantes. No matter who they are or what they're doing, this a time for us to step up and we will do that just us."

Chicago transit closures, service resumption:

The CTA suspended all bus and train service downtown "at the request of public safety officials," early Monday. No buses or trains ran in the area bordered by Fullerton and Ashland avenues and Cermak Road.

[Service Disruption> CTA train/bus service to downtown area is temp suspended at request of public safety officials. No service btwn Fullerton, Cermak and Ashland.

— cta (@cta) August 10, 2020

The CTA resumed service around 8:30 a.m. Monday.

[Normal Service*> Bus and rail service has been restored in the downtown area. See for any real-time travel updates.

— cta (@cta) August 10, 2020

City officials also raised all downtown bridges, except the LaSalle Street Bridge, over the Chicago River around 4:30 a.m., preventing further entry into and exit from the downtown area. Illinois State Police confirmed around 5 a.m. that Chicago police asked for assistance in blocking all expressway ramps going in and out of the city's Loop: from Cermak to I-55, I-94 from Roosevelt to Division and Congress Parkway from I-290.

Bridges started to lower Monday morning, and ramps began to open to allow for more access downtown.

RELATED: CTA Resumes Downtown Service, Bridges Lowered Following Overnight Looting

Many businesses in the downtown area had just reopened weeks after several stores and buildings were looted and vandalized following the unrest after the protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.