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Unneighborly Feud Turns Deadly as Cop Shoots Elderly Man and Woman

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.

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."

Mike April 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM
Got what he deserved
Dookie Tookie April 28, 2014 at 11:22 AM
What color is that cop? Does it matter? Oh, yes it does! Mr. Jessee Jackass and his buddy Al Sharkmouth want to know real bad, so they can take it to the new level. Is he green, blue, orange, people, tan, stupid color or BROWN like SH*T? Or maybe he is the same color as my big Mama? Oops, sorry...I don't even know what color of my big Mama is, sorry, my fault!
Mikerrr April 28, 2014 at 12:08 PM
Unfortunately, in Chicago, arguing that you are "in fear for your life" probably won't fly as a defense for shooting someone who is attacking someone ELSE. Not sure in Chicago you're allowed to shoot someone to protect a third person - not even your wife. And, if the guy was an off-duty cop, he's not a cop as far as this story goes. He's just another idiot.
Nanci Little April 28, 2014 at 03:11 PM
What I want heard is the insanity the police officer has been involved in and PERPETRATED for so many years with this old couple. Cops are notoriously cowards and bullies, thus their love of the job. Firefighters run INTO danger, hoping to SAVE someone OR something. Cops creep into even possible danger, hoping to SHOOT someone OR something (usually a family's Labrador whose barking made the 'cop' fear for his life). May all cops rot..
Agranon May 07, 2014 at 04:43 PM
Jail time for this cop and when this happens you're all invited to my party!!!!

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