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Licensed gun owner aids Cicero cops in shootout with suspect; 1 officer injured

(FoxNews.com) - A licensed gun owner was hailed Thursday for his role in helping police in suburban Chicago stop a suspect who was firing an automatic weapon, officials said.

Officials commended the unnamed civilian for his actions as they stood outside a hospital where Cicero police Officer Luis Duarte, 31, was undergoing surgery for four gunshot wounds suffered during the shootout, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"We were lucky enough to have a citizen on the street there's who's a concealed-carry holder, and he's also engaged in gunfire," said Cicero police Superintendent Jerry Chlada Jr.

The chaos erupted just after 5 p.m. when Duarte, a four-year-veteran of the department, and his partner tried to pull over a vehicle in Cicero for a routine traffic stop. The driver instead took off onto a ramp leading to Interstate 55, in Chicago's city limits.

The officers boxed the vehicle in traffic and the suspect got out and began firing the automatic weapon at them as he fled on foot, Fox 32 Chicago reported. The officers returned fire. The concealed-carry owner then got out of his vehicle and began shooting at the suspect.

Cicero town President Larry Dominick says the civilian risked his life to help the officers.

"He got out and started helping the police, which is something I've got to be proud of," Dominick told the Sun-Times.

The suspect was hit once but it was not clear if the bullet came from the officers or the concealed-carry holder.

Duarte suffered wounds to an arm, a leg and his abdomen, but was talking and alert ahead of surgery, officials said.

The suspect was taken to a hospital and listed in serious condition. His weapon was found at the scene.

Illinois State Police are investigating the officers' use of force.

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