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Departments : Shots Fired

Shots Fired: Skokie, Illinois 08/25/2008

Officer Tim Gramins pursued a bank robbery suspect and ended up in a deadly duel.

February 08, 2012  |  by - Also by this author

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Photo: iStockphoto.com
Photo: iStockphoto.com

A black male in a white vehicle.

The description of the suspect wanted for the robbery of the Fifth Third Bank in Northbrook, Ill., wasn't detailed, but it was all Officer Tim Gramins had to go on.

In hopes that he might intercept the suspect, the Skokie (Ill.) PD officer responded to the area of Edens Expressway/94 southbound and Overton Road-a major interchange in the Chicago area. He parked and for several minutes monitored passing traffic until the sight of a white Pontiac Bonneville caught his eye. A check of the car's license plate indicated its registered owner lived on the South Side.

The white Bonneville with a black male driver warranted a second glance from Gramins, but it was the look on the man's face that commanded his attention. The split-second betrayal of fear melted into a calculated impassiveness that belied his being acutely aware of the trooper's ride. The expression was one that the 14-year veteran had become familiar with: The signature denial common to felons throughout the land.

Gramins wasted no time pulling in behind the Bonneville and keyed his mic to get other units rolling in his direction. But if Gramins was on to the driver's game, the Bonneville's driver, Raymond Maddox, was no less on to his and suddenly punched the accelerator, speeding off Edens Expressway and onto surface streets.

Adrenaline Rush

By the time Maddox turned east on Touhy Avenue, Gramins had closed the distance between them and his coordination of the pursuit was going as well as he could hope for. Then Maddox made a left turn onto Estes Avenue and things began to change for the worse.

PHOTOS: View a slideshow of the crime scene.

Maddox headed into a residential neighborhood where he made a hard right turn onto Kilpatrick with Gramins on his tail. Rounding the corner, Maddox slammed on his brakes just as Gramins was trying to broadcast the latest change in the pursuit's direction.

Caught off guard, Gramins skidded to a stop a mere 15 feet away from the Bonneville—much closer than he would have wanted. Maddox's car door flew open and his feet hit the pavement.

Throughout, Gramins had been in a reactive mode-reacting to information that he was processing based upon what was being communicated to him, first by the radio, then by the driver, a man who was himself unencumbered by the distractions of calling a pursuit or worrying about the welfare of others.

But the suddenness of Maddox's maneuver and the increasingly apparent reasons for it now registered with Gramins in the form of a surge of adrenaline and greater visual acuity.

At the sight of Maddox stepping out of the Bonneville with a Smith & Wesson 5906 9mm pistol, Gramins tossed the mic, then simultaneously unbuckled his seat belt with his left hand as he drew his .45 caliber Glock from its holster.

Maddox point-fired at Gramins as he charged toward the patrol unit. Four bullets hit the front of Gramins' squad car.

Gramins let loose with a barrage of rounds hoping that what he might lose in accuracy would be compensated for by its suppressive nature. The only thing separating Gramins and his assailant was a windshield that was fast disintegrating from ingoing and outgoing rounds.

Tags: Shots Fired, Bank Robberies, Skokie (Ill.) PD


Comments (24)

Displaying 1 - 24 of 24

JJ Gollliday @ 2/9/2012 6:22 PM

God All Mighty, someone get some remedial training for that 911 operator. Sheeeeesh!! Thank God that there was at least one concerned citizen that tried to assist the officer. Kudos to the citizen and officer.

Tschako @ 2/9/2012 10:08 PM

From the look of the Bersa, it seems Grammins got a hit on it too, probably through the AH's hand. At first it sounded like "spray and pray", but I'd never critique a shooting where someone is shooting back, especially if the cop wins. 17 hits to end this....unbelieveable!
It ended the way it should. Way to go!

Capt David-retired LA Cou @ 2/10/2012 9:33 AM

That jammed cartridge in the perps pistol could have been in the LEO's, my main reason for still loving a wheel gun...

jMendez202 @ 2/10/2012 3:38 PM

Having been witness to how Gramins reacted under that amazing stress, and came out of it without a scratch amazes me to this day. You got him and got home to your kids and wife, which is what we all strive to do. I'm glad to know you, and I'm proud to work with you, Partner! Way to go.

Retired Cop's Kid @ 2/11/2012 11:39 AM

I highly doubt the bad guy cleaned his pistols like the officer does. Probabaly why it jammed

JB249 @ 2/11/2012 12:55 PM

Hey Cap

I'll put you and your wheel gun on a shot clock and lets see how fast you can get 36 rounds off. Personally I will stick with the glock and 17 round mags......Six revolver reloads is not my cup of tea if I'm being shot at.

Morning Eagle @ 2/11/2012 7:08 PM

One point not to miss here is to ALWAYS, always, always carry extra ammo. And if you carry a back up of a different caliber, carry at least a couple of re-loads for that too. Ya just never know! Excellent job Officer Gramins. Thanks for sharing. Wow, 17 hits from a .45 and the guy was still active until the hits to the head. Amazing, and sobering. The dependability of the revolver does make it the prefered back up for many experienced officers, especially those that have experienced jams in a semi-auto.

snipert @ 2/12/2012 2:33 PM

So Maddox Fires 22 rounds at Gramins with two different semi-auto handguns a 9mm and .380. Maddox has an SKS Assault Rifle in the car loaded with thirty Rounds ready to go. Maddox has no hits. Gramins fires 33 .45 caliber rounds from a Glock 21 with 17 hits. This shootout takes over sixty seconds of sustained fire. I think you can love a wheel gun, just leave it at home and bring your Glock to the gun fight! Yes bring as much ammo as you can carry on you!! The criminals once again are out gunning the Police. Train and Be Ready your turn can come.

snipert @ 2/12/2012 3:27 PM

Hell bring the wheel gun along for a third gun. Maddox 9mm s&w had the fail to eject on the last round in the mag. Bersa was done in by a .45 caliber hit through Maddoxs hand. Good thing it was over before Maddox could get out the SKS. As Police Officer death rates are again on the rise might be time to start slinging ARs.

Ms911 @ 2/12/2012 6:59 PM

I hope that you will all support those working with NENA/APCO Joint Committee for Mandatory Standards for 9-1-1 Dispatcher Training.

SP6468 @ 2/13/2012 7:50 AM

Officer Grammins did an outstanding job. His preparation and determination to succeed in that situation is amazing.

1805 @ 2/13/2012 8:27 AM

Great article. Glad he is safe. Since I am familiar with the area, I always wanted to know more about the call. I do have a question about the a quote in the article.

"But even with all that training and a round in the chamber, each of Gramins' available 12-round gun magazines came into play that day-and he had a mere four rounds left when the smoke cleared."

Why does he only have 12 rounds? My G21 has 13 and one in the chamber.

Just wondering if it was a typo or did he always have one less in his mag than it allows?

Penny @ 2/13/2012 6:58 PM

I had the honor of working with Officer Gramins. He is one of the most outstanding officers on any police force.Officer Gramins survived that day due to his training and his constant drive for more training of veteran and new officers.Outstanding job Officer Gramins! And I totally agree with Ms911 that there should be mandatory standards for 911 dispatchers!!!!

R. G. Montgomery @ 2/14/2012 6:51 PM

Just over a 50% hit rate. Officer Gramins beats the national average of near 30%.

He won the fight when he realized he needed to 'get his front sight' and actually make some serious hits. Did anyone notice that?

I am so disgusted by so called 'experts' who draw pay for deciding not to bother with marksmanship training as cops don't hit much anyway. No need to train actual shooting ability, we'll just issue guns with more rounds.

Officer Gramins, you performed well. Most importantly, you won the engagement and attended your son's birthday party. You can have a beer - or a Coke - on me whenever. Just keep reminding people about that front sight. Some of our brethren seem to have forgotten it.

Monica - Tim's sister @ 2/14/2012 9:33 PM

Our family remains grateful for Tim's survival of this day. I can't comment on the specifics of Tim's training or his gun, etc. What I can say is that I am really proud of my brother and know what an amazing father, husband, brother, uncle, son, colleague and friend he is to those of us who know and love him. We are so grateful you had the will and training to back you!

Shawn @ 2/19/2012 6:26 PM

Had that "resident cheerleader" been a concealed weapon holder (and due to our 2nd amendment rights he should have been) this story would have had a much shorter and cleaner ending. Being a Texas CHL, had I been the witness to a shooting like this, I would have engaged the threat seconds after he fired his first shots at the officer. This sort of thing is a reminder to us all as to why defending our constitutional rights are SO important.

Rich @ 3/22/2012 2:07 PM

I heard that the dispatcher was given the boot...what the hell was she thinking transfering the caller to the Fire Department? Even the caller was like..."the fire department?" Talk about no common sense, you cant train people to have it, you either have it or you dont. Lincolnwood ought to make this a test question for future dispatcher tests. Do you A. call for police units to respond, or B call the fire department. Hummmmm duh?

Robert Dombrow @ 5/25/2012 12:36 PM

We need to pray God's protection over all of these dedicated men and women, who stand between us and the criminal element, 365 days a year. This was truly a miracle - praise God for His protection for this officer, his family, Skokie, and all good people everwhere.

usmcvet @ 7/12/2012 3:32 AM

Well done officer. I have three kids I plan to make it home to every night too. Someone asked about the magazines, some people are taught to download their magazines by a round. The military teaches 28 rounds in a 30 round magazine. I load mine all the way too.

Corey @ 7/14/2012 7:52 PM

If we were not in such an anti-gun state maybe that citizen that was yelling to "get him" could have been able to help and shoot back. The only people unarmed in this state are the good guys. We're lucky the cops can still carry guns. And we wonder why Chicago has one of the highest murder rates in the nation. Its because we are prevented from being armed while the bad guys still are. They don't listen to the laws. thats why they are BAD GUYS.

Traaxx @ 8/28/2012 5:35 PM

I can't say any comment made above is wrong or that I disagree with them, but really 17 hits with a .45 ACP what was Maddox on. That's a lot of lead to take and still keep fighting. This is like the Miami Shootout in the 80's that started the 10mm and 40 S&W on the road.

On a sour note, Gramins put that many rounds down range without a thought of innocent bystanders? His training has to be called into question. If a CHL did that, the hue and cry would never end. If R. G. Montgomery, above, is right and Gramin had a 50% hit rate at that range and was a SWAT member, something is wrong with his training or his overall awareness. I'm glad he survived and didn't get wounded and I doubt I'd do any better and probably much worse, but then again I don't get to <b>train as a police oficer or undergo constant SWAT training<b>. <i>This guy should have been better under control<i> emotionally and professionally? :(

Whatever......................................................................................

Traaxx

Keith @ 12/12/2012 12:35 PM

17 hits out of 36 or 37 possible? Excellent work in any fight and incredible when you've just been ambushed and you're starting way behind the curve and you not only manage to get 17 hits and end the fight with some ammo left, but also manage to not get hit! And reality is a .45 isn't significantly better then a 9mm and a determined opponent can fight through just about anything short of a hit that takes out CNS.

Rob @ 12/30/2012 3:22 PM

Keith I agree with you 100%. And Traaxx as for as your back ground. If someone is trying to kill you and you have no where to retreat to your gonna shoot back. It's all the will to survive and if you have it, you're gonna do what it takes to succeed.

rossco @ 4/20/2013 8:26 PM

Traxx you are a worthless POS. This man just survived and won a horrific gunfight and youre gonna call into question his marksmanship. You sir are the problem and downfall of this country. How do you sleep at night. TROLL.

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