After ATF agent shot in head, Back of the Yards residents call police response too aggressive

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CHICAGO — The search continued Saturday for the armed gunman who shot a federal agent in the head Friday morning.

As local and federal police canvassed the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago, some neighbors said they were angry with what they called an aggressive and excessive response.

"Just because you're wearing a badge, it matters more?" asked Mayra Salinas, a mother who lives in the area. "How does that make us feel? We have a lot of homicides that go unsolved, and not one time do they put this much effort into finding the gunman that killed our friend, our brother.”

An ATF agent was ambushed and shot in his face as he investigated illegal guns about 3:15 a.m. Friday. The man remains hospitalized in critical condition but is expected to recover.

Police executed warrants Friday afternoon near the 4500 block of South Hermitage Avenue. Authorities continued to sweep the neighborhood Saturday in armored tactical vehicles with guns drawn.

“The whole place was swarmed with cops, the feds, the ATF people — all over the place," resident Carlos Barron said.

“This is the fourth law enforcement officer that’s been shot over in that area," Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said. "You think we’re going to take this lying down? I’ve got a message: We’re coming for you.”

Locals gathered at Davis Park on Saturday holding signs that read, "Stop the harassment," and, "No more illegal entry."

"It was just like a war zone," grandmother Carmen Guzman said. "You see kids running, and they were scared.”

Some in the neighborhood showed appreciation for the dangerous nature of police work.

“People who are patrolling the area got hurt and they’re trying to do their best to make this neighborhood the best they can make it," resident Aaron Tozhimani said.

No arrests have been made. Authorities are offering a $61,000 reward for information that leads to charges in the shooting.


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