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Neighbor Feud Turns Deadly: Chicago Cop Shoots Man, 86, and Woman, 90

After a 90-year-old woman lashed out with a broom and her husband opened fire on an off-duty cop's wife with a shotgun, the cop shot back.

Joe Huff Jr. (lower right) died after being shot by an off-duty Chicago Police officer, his neighbor. The officer was taken away Friday in an ambulance. Neighbors and family gathered in front of the house in shock.
Joe Huff Jr. (lower right) died after being shot by an off-duty Chicago Police officer, his neighbor. The officer was taken away Friday in an ambulance. Neighbors and family gathered in front of the house in shock.

By Dennis Robaugh

Chicago, Illinois – A neighborhood argument across a backyard fence in which the weapons escalated from dirt, rocks and a broom to a shotgun and a handgun turned deadly on the South Side Friday, leaving an 86-year-old man dead and a police officer's wife seriously wounded.

An off-duty Chicago Police officer heard his wife in an argument with the 90-year-old woman living next door on Friday at about 2:15 p.m. When he went to the back yard, he saw the neighbor hitting his wife with a broom and throwing rocks and dirt at her.

The elderly woman, Hazel, called for her husband to "get that thing," and 86-year-old Joe Huff Jr. then brought a shotgun into the fray, firing and striking the officer's wife in the arm and head, according to police.

The cop shot and killed the old man. Hazel went for the shotgun, according to police, and the officer told her not to try. She tried to pick the weapon up, and the officer shot her, according to police.

The Chicago Police Department released a statement saying the officer was "in fear of his life" when he fired on his elderly neighbors.

Others who live on the street, in the 8400 block of South Carpenter in the Gresham community, say everyone knows about the running feud between the Huffs and their neighbors.

“The whole block is aware of the long-going battle between these two families. It’s been going on for a couple of years,” Taniesha Clay told the Chicago Sun-Times. Clay's grandma lives on the block, too. “Last year, myself and other neighbors saw the officer and his wife attack Mr. Huff. The officer handcuffed him to a gate, and his wife was allowed to batter him with a shovel. It was early in the morning, and we all saw it.

“It is not what the police are portraying.”

The Independent Police Review Authority is reviewing the fatal shooting.

The slain man's son, Darren Huff, told the Chicago Tribune that his dad would get into "territorial" spats, arguing over unclosed gates.

“He is 86 and they argued every day,” Huff told the paper.

A neighbor said the Huffs and the officer would toss snow on each other's walkways and parked cars. Trash was also strewn into the yards.

"This is not the first confrontation," another son, Joe Huff III, said. "This man has picked on my father for years."

Both wives were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn for treatment, while the police officer was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital after he complained of chest pains and shortness of breath.

"It's a very tragic situation " Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, told the Tribune. "He's going to defend his wife and he's going to defend his life."

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Ken Barber April 29, 2014 at 11:25 AM
Do all 86 year old Obama voters have shotguns?
Robert Lee April 29, 2014 at 01:23 PM
There are probably a lot of older folks that have significant fire power within their own homes. They just don't bring out out unless there is a problem....
terry mccaffrey April 29, 2014 at 01:25 PM
Savs money for normal people.
Mary Allison April 29, 2014 at 05:33 PM
somebody comes out and points a shotgun at me......just saying
Dan Cox May 18, 2014 at 08:54 AM
Chootcago, Chootcago, its a killing kind of town, Chiraq, Chiraq, its where the bullet ridden bodies get stacked. Let the people of that god forsaken place have a good ole time... Summer is comin' and when it gets HOT...the Devils come out to play!!!

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