Suburban officer charged with shooting son may avoid prison

CHICAGO -- A former police officer accused of shooting his own son appeared in court Tuesday as prosecutors seemed poised to agree to a plea deal would keep him out of prison.

Ray Leuser was a sergeant on the police force in southwest suburban Indian Head Park until 13 months ago.

According to police reports, in December of 2017, Leuser called in sick, stopped at a convenience store to pick-up a pizza, popcorn and a bottle of vodka then went to his Chicago home.

Prosecutors said several hours later Leuser discovered his 22-year-old son had helped himself to some of the vodka and refilled the bottle with water.

Leuser allegedly shot his son four times.  He was hit in the stomach, shoulder and thigh.  After several surgeries, his son survived.

A year later, the son has written a victim impact statement in which he asks for leniency for his father who spent just seven weeks in the Cook County jail after his arrest and has been free on electronic monitoring.

Tuesday a judge was asked to approve a deal that lowers the charge from attempted murder to reckless discharge of a weapon with a sentence of probation.

Cook County Judge Arthur Hill pumped the brakes on the plea deal and pushed off a decision until the end of February.  He said,  “There’s more information I’d like to gather and I’ve made that know to the attorneys.”

Judge Hill may want more than a letter from the son. He wants to hear from the son in court as to why an officer who shoots his kid should avoid prison time.

As for the Cook County state’s attorney agreeing to the plea deal, a spokesperson wouldn’t comment on this specific case; but it’s not at all uncommon for prosecutors to be influenced by a victim’s wishes.


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