Woman, 19, charged with attempted murder of Chicago officer appears in court

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CHICAGO — A 19-year-old woman faced a judge Monday for charges in the shooting of a Chicago police officer.

According to official reports, the 34-year-old tactical officer was executing a search warrant at the apartment of Emily Petronella around 7:20 p.m. Saturday in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Police said the officer was trying to enter the back door of the home on the 2700 block of West Potomac Avenue when Petronella, who was inside, fired a single shot through the door.

The bullet struck the officer in the shoulder, fracturing a vertebrae and lodging in his right shoulder muscle. He was rushed to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, where he underwent surgery.

The officer’s sister posted an update about his condition on social media. She said he had surgery Monday and was stabilized, but in a lot of pain.

Petronella was charged Sunday with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault of a peace officer with a weapon, armed violence and discharge of a weapon, aggravated discharge of a firearm at a peace officer/fireman, and manufacturing and delivery of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis— all felonies. She was also charged with misdemeanor violation of bail bond.

In a bond hearing Sunday, prosecutors said Petronella’s criminal history includes a traffic stop in which officers found her in possession of a pump-action shot gun. Cook County Judge Stephanie Miller denied bond, saying Petronella “poses a real and present threat to the safety of the community.”

She was held without bond on Sunday.

Petronella’s attorney asked that dash and body cam video be preserved as well as all police communications during the incident.

“It’s going to show what actually happened and when that comes out, we’re going to be ready for a trial and my client is going to be found not guilty,” Fenner said.

Chicago police said Petronella has a criminal history with drug arrests. Most recently, she was arrested during a traffic stop on Feb. 22, when police found a shotgun in her vehicle. A judge released her on bond the next day.

On Saturday, the warrant was to search Petronella’s home. Police believe she fired a 9 mm semi-automatic through a door, as police used a battering ram to get inside. Police said they found the gun, spent cartridge and 10,000 grams of pot inside.

“She’s innocent in these charges and that’s really what it comes down to, ” Stefan Fenner, defense attorney, said. “Right now, it’s only a day after the bond hearing, we’re moving forward with our investigation and this case is going to progress.”

It has been reported that Petronella owned the gun legally. It is unclear how she was able to obtain a FOID card at her age.

She is expected in court at the end of the month.


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