Saturday, February 21, 2004

Police officer shot at, shoots suspect in foot

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WEST END - A Cincinnati police officer was shot at Thursday night, possibly because of his history of investigating a criminal street gang, police said.

Authorities are working to determine if Officer Patrick Galligan was targeted. Police say Tot Lot Posse gang member Michael White fired at but missed Galligan.

Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher called White, charged with attempted murder in the shooting, a "bona fide" member of the gang, which is named for a Linn Street playground. Police have said Tot Lot members were responsible for a wave of violence in 2002, including a homicide and numerous shootings.

Galligan, 41, well known and respected in the neighborhood he has worked for 15 years, was sitting in an unmarked, green Dodge Neon at a traffic light on West Liberty and John streets about 11:15 p.m. As he started driving through the light, a bullet came through the car's windshield, spraying shards of glass in Galligan's face.

The plainclothes officer tumbled out of the car and pulled his gun and fired back twice before the Smith & Wesson pistol jammed. White was hit once in the foot.

"I can tell you he believed he had been shot at the time he returned fire," Streicher said.

White, 21, of the Fay Apartments, was treated at University Hospital. He was moved to the Hamilton County Justice Center.


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