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By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (December 2, 2021) – The massive manhunt that brought an estimated 150 police vehicles to Lansing Wednesday night ended with two individuals evading apprehension, though they were later determined not to be involved in the shooting of a Chicago Police officer, as police originally thought.
According to a press release from the Lansing Police Department, the Chicago Police Department confirmed on Thursday, December 2, that the driver and passengers of a stolen white Infiniti sedan that was abandoned in Lansing were not involved in an incident in Chicago’s Calumet Heights neighborhood that left a Chicago Police officer shot in the leg.
Chase, search, takeaways
CPD units and a helicopter started pursuing the vehicle south out of Chicago and eventually into Lansing, believing the men inside to be connected to the shooting.
The Lansing Police Department press release said an estimated 150 squad cars were in Lansing to establish a perimeter to apprehend the car’s passengers after the driver was taken into custody.
The search ended at 12:30 a.m. Thursday, according to LPD Chief Al Phillips. He said the herculean manhunt effort was conducted under the belief that police were searching for individuals involved in the Chicago cop shooting.
“To my knowledge, at 12:30 when we ended the search, we were not aware that the [sought-after individuals] were not involved [in the shooting of the CPD officer] at that point,” Phillips said.
Phillips also said the men were driving a stolen car that contained at least one handgun and “some other things discovered as well that were illegal.”
The three-hour manhunt for these individuals involved police dogs, helicopters with search lights, and hundreds of police officers from at least ten agencies, including the Illinois State Police and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police. The two fugitives were not located.
“We’ll end a search when we’ve exhausted all of our leads,” explained Phillips. “We had K9s out there doing a track. Once they’ve lost a scent or can’t pick it up, and we feel like the area is searched clear, that’s when we determine we’re going to end it. There’s no standard or hard line. It’s a lot of common sense and the shift commander’s decision. And I’ll stand behind it — Lieutenant Hynek did a great job.”
Phillips said the search process involves setting up a perimeter around the area a subject is thought to be in. “The longer time you have before a perimeter is established, the larger the perimeter has to be,” he explained. “So then you’re checking every backyard, you’re checking everywhere you have access to, and it’s still a very difficult situation.”
“I think we did a great job clearing that area. We were convinced that the persons probably had left the area and had broken the perimeter,” Phillips said.
Phillips confirmed that the man brought into custody was not a Lansing resident, and though he does not know where the other two men are from, he has “no reason to believe they are Lansing residents whatsoever” adding, “We do end up with a lot of people getting off on Torrence Avenue, … and a lot of our crime comes from our transient stuff up towards the hotels and the expressways, so I don’t let this speak poorly of Lansing residents or the Lansing area at all.”
- Massive manhunt in Lansing follows shooting of Chicago cop (December 2, 2021)