Chicago Tribune reporter Peter Nickeas describes the city's overnight crimes, including two people shot in Wicker Park and one person killed. (Posted September 7, 2013)

An off-duty Chicago police officer fatally shot a man on the Near West Side this morning in the third police-involved shooting since midnight and the fourth in the last 24 hours, police said.

The incident happened at 6:45 a.m. at a Chicago Housing Authority building in the 1800 block of West Monroe Street, according to Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Michael Sullivan.

The male officer was off-duty and working a part time job when he saw an armed female civilian security guard in a physical altercation with a male offender attempting to gain access to the property, according to a statement from police News Affairs.

The officer, in fear for his safety and the safety of the security guard, discharged his weapon striking the offender,who died, statement said.  Sullivan said he was in the chest.

The man was identified as Marion Horton, 28, of the 400 block of West Division Street, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. He was pronounced dead at 7:12 a.m. at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, according to a medical examiner's office spokesman.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 spokesman Patrick Camden said the incident started about 6:30 a.m. when the off-duty officer was seated at the front desk of the 7-story building as his partner, an armed female security guard who works for a private company, was outside doing a check of the parking lot. When she came across a man in the lobby, she told him to leave but he refused.

“He’s very combative and she’s struggling with him,’’  said Camden of the man in the lobby. “So the officer at the desk sees this and goes out to help her,’’ Camden said.

The man finally left and went out into the parking lot area but began urinating on a truck parked in front of the doors. The off-duty officer told him again to leave and “go about your business’’  but he demanded: “What are you going to do about it?”

Camden said the off-duty officer told him: “I’m a  Chicago police officer -- just go away.’’ Replying; “ I 'aint going nowhere,’’ he began fighting again and the officer realized he was going to need to arrest him.

As he began positioning himself to place handcuffs on the man, the brawl escalated with all three as the man, who was about 200 pounds and 5-foot-10 or 11, pulled the off-duty officer to the ground and ripped out about a dozen of the woman’s braids, Camden said.

“At this point the officer is concerned that this guy is going to get the woman’s gun so he pulled out his weapon and tells him he’s under arrest,’’ Camden said.  When the man lunged at him, he fired a shot and hit him in the chest, Camden said.

“This is no pushing and shoving fight. This is fighting to the point of exhaustion,’’ Camden said.

Camden said the two security officers suffered bruises and head injuries from her hair being pulled out.

In another police shooting early this morning, police working in the West Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side heard gunfire, drove toward it and found a 23-year-old man shooting a handgun toward others, according to authorities.

The shooting happened about 2:10 a.m. near the intersection of 63rd Street and King Drive and the man police shot was taken to an area hospital with injuries that are not considered life-threatening, according to a statement released by Chicago Police Department News Affairs office.

Patrol officers working the Violence Reduction Initiative were patrolling when they saw a person shooting at an unknown target, the statement said.

The officers got out of their car and announced their office but the man turned toward police with the gun, so they opened fire, said Camden, the spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents rank-and-file police officers.

Officers fired when the man turned toward them with the weapon raised, the News Affairs statement said.

The man ran after the officers fired and turned two more times toward police with the gun still in his hand, Camden said. It wasn't until the third time that he turned that the officers hit him, in the leg.

The man ran into a nearby apartment, where he was found, Camden said. Police blocked all four points of access to the intersection and brought a light truck to the scene to help search for evidence. 

Police collected a 9-millimeter handgun as evidence, Camden said. No officers were injured and the man shot was taken into custody but there are no charges yet, the statement said.

In the third police-involved shooting of the morning, officers shot at a man about 12:25 a.m. in the 5100 block of North Christiana Avenue. It's unclear exactly where the incident occurred, but that address is near the North Park University campus in the Albany Park neighborhood on the North Side. 

Police were called to that area at 12:10 a.m. for a gang disturbance and report that gang members were blocking a bridge.

When officers approached a group, a number of young men fled holding their waistbands, police said.

It's not clear what happened between then and when the officer fired toward one of the men, but no one was struck and one man was arrested.

In the fourth police-involved shooting over the last day, an off-duty officer shot an intruder in her Wrightwood neighborhood home about 9:40 a.m. Friday morning.

pnickeas@tribune.com | Twitter: @PeterNickeas