Jussie Smollett attack: Chicago police questioning 2 persons of interest

CHICAGO —

Chicago police confirmed Thursday that detectives are talking to two persons of interest in connection with the alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

Smollett said he was attacked around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29 in the 300-block of East North Water Street in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. He told police two masked men shouted homophobic slurs at him, attacked him, put a rope around his neck and poured a liquid on him that smelled like bleach.

Smollett, 36, is black and openly gay.

RELATED: Jussie Smollett reflects on attack, aftermath on ‘Good Morning America’: ‘I am not weak’

The two persons of interest are not suspects and have not been charged. Police said there is no evidence that they were invovled in the attack. Investigators are only talking with them at this time.

Police said they have not found surveillance video that shows the attack. But earlier in the investigation, they did release grainy surveillance images of two possible persons of interest. The photos show two silhouettes on New Street near Illinois Street between 1:30 a.m. and 1:45 a.m. on Jan. 29.

In a statement released Thursday, police said they identified the two people in the surveillance photos and tracked them down using cameras, public transportation records and corroborating info provided by Smollett.

Smollett spoke exclusively with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” Thursday. He reflected on what happened to him that morning and what has happened to him since.

“It’s the attackers, but also the attacks,” he said, adding of those who don’t believe his story, “It’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.”

Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for Chicago Police Department, said earlier Thursday morning that he watched the GMA interview with CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Guglielmi said Smollett’s comments on GMA are consistent with what he’s told Chicago police. Unfortunately, police have no solid evidence to arrest anyone at this time.

The investigation is ongoing.



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