The Round Lake Beach Police Department released additional information on Tuesday and said they ‘commend’ their officer who witnessed a drive-by shooting and then pulled over the wrong vehicle.
A shocking video published on social media showed a gunman in a vehicle opening fire on a man as the suspect’s vehicle was followed by a police car early Sunday morning.
The incident happened around 12:51 a.m. Sunday in the 500 block of Golfview Drive in Round Lake Beach, according to Round Lake Beach Deputy Police Chief Wayne Wilde.
Video published on social media by Round Lake Beach resident Maldonado Alejandro shows the shooting take place.
Two vehicles — a pickup truck and a sedan — drove by a residence with loud music coming from their vehicles.
The video shows a man exit the residence and within seconds a third vehicle drove by and briefly stopped in front of the home’s driveway.
As the vehicle comes to a stop, a gunman from inside the car fires six shots towards the man who was standing on the driveway.
A Round Lake Beach police squad car was approximately 50 feet behind the suspect vehicle when the shots were fired, the video showed.
The man dropped to the ground behind a parked car on the driveway following the shooting and the suspect vehicle sped off. The police cruiser continued driving in the same direction as the suspect vehicle but did not immediately pull the vehicle over.
Wilde told Lake and McHenry County Scanner the officer was in the area and monitoring several vehicles in the vicinity when the shots were fired.
Officials say the officer was patrolling the area to “deter violence” due to a shooting that happened earlier in the evening.
“Upon turning on the street in the video, the officer observed a suspicious vehicle that he recognized to be associated with a person of interest, which has been involved in previous firearm-related incidents,” the Round Lake Beach Police Department said in a new statement on Tuesday.
“The Officer’s view was fixated on this suspicious vehicle as it passed him, when gunfire erupted in the immediate area. The Officer at the time suspected that the gunfire likely came from this suspicious vehicle or a residence in the area,” the statement said.
Police officials said the officer didn’t observe any injured parties at the residence seen in the video and “focused his efforts on locating the suspicious vehicle fleeing the area.”
The statement said that the officer requested additional police units and then conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle believed to have committed the shooting. However, officers learned the subjects in that car did not carry out the shooting.
The video appears to show the same suspect vehicle drive by again 45 seconds after the initial shooting. It is unclear where the officer went after witnessing the shooting.
“We commend our Officer for his foresight to patrol this area and his courage and remaining calm during a high stress, dangerous, and rapidly evolving incident,” the statement said.
No suspects are in custody, Wilde said. Police say they are actively investigating the incident and following up on additional investigative leads.
Alejandro, who posted the video on social media, said the police officer did not follow the suspects and instead turned on their emergency lights and blocked the road.
“Luckily my friend was able to avoid the shooting, and the RLBPD did not seem to care,” Alejandro said in the post.
“You clearly see the Police drive behind the Drive-By shooter and allow him to shoot several shots and let the driver get away safely,” he added.