Early morning shooting hits Rockford police officer in bulletproof vest

Three officers heard the shots around one early Friday morning, that’s when one officer discovered he was hit in his side
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 9:34 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A bulletproof vest may have saved the life of a Rockford police officer after shots were fired around one this morning in the area of South 3rd and Pope streets. Now local residents are concerned about the response efforts.

Doug Confer says police officers knocked on his door and woke him up around 1:30 a.m. saying that a Rockford police officer had been ambushed near the intersection just feet from his home.

“I didn’t even hear anything,” said Confer. “I said what happened? He said his fellow officer got ambushed down here on the corner.”

Confer lives in the Rockford neighborhood of Thursday morning’s shooting of a Rockford police officer. Confer says there’s been multiple shots fired situations in that area since he’s lived there. He feels each shooting has a different response from police officers depending on the victim.

“When a murder happens or a shooting happens in the city of Rockford, that they would go full out like they do when an officer is involved,” said Confer. “The whole police force is out here with AR’s and spotlights and helicopters and everything else and they don’t do that for regular citizens.”

Confer says back in 2020, a 19-year-old was shot and killed in the same area, yet he feels the investigation wasn’t handled the same way this one is. Meanwhile, Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd says the department will leave no stone un-turned when looking for the person or persons that committed the crime.

“In regards to the gun violence and very specifically coming after our men and women of this police department that put their lives on the line everyday to protect the city will not be tolerated,” said Redd.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara says the amount of violence that’s going on throughout the city of Rockford is unacceptable. He feels police need witnesses to come forward in cases like this.

“These folks who commit these acts, they talk about it to their boyfriends and girlfriends, they talk about it to their parents and their cousins, to their friends,” said McNamara. “Get out here and start sharing that information because lives are on the line. We’ve already lost far too many citizens.”

Chief Redd says the department has a few leads that they are currently pursuing, as of right now the officer that was hit is un-injured and is currently taking time off from work while the investigation unfolds.

Rockford police ask if you have any information to reach out and let them know. They say no detail is too small.

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