CHICAGO
07/12/2013 03:11 pm ET

Chicago Police Shoot Firefighter After Desperate Call From Allegedly 'Despondent' Off-Duty Fireman

Chicago police shot and critically wounded a firefighter described as suicidal and despondent after the man allegedly assumed a "combat position" against cops on the scene.

The firefighter, who had been on medical leave, was shot about 12:45 p.m. at a CVS pharmacy at 103rd and Pulaski Road in the Mt. Greenwood neighborhood, according to the Tribune.

The victim was reportedly on the phone with his wife when he told her he "couldn't take it anymore." The man's wife called 911, leading police check CVS parking lots until they found the man in his car, according to CBS Chicago.

A police spokesman told the Sun-Times officers had instructed the man: "Get out of the car with your hands up! We’ll get you some help!"

The man reportedly “made the sign of the cross,” according to WGN, and flung the door open taking a “combat stance” while holding an object in his hand, police say. An investigation later determined the man did not have a gun.

“It’s a classic case, to me, of suicide or attempted suicide by cop,” a police spokesman said.

The man, a father of two in his 50s who has been with the department since the 1990s, was taken to a nearby hospital with nine or ten gunshot wounds and later underwent surgery.

No one else was injured and an investigation is pending.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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