A high-ranking Chicago police officer was shot and killed Tuesday after a downtown foot chase, the latest in a spate of law enforcement officers killed across the nation in unrelated shootings.
Cmdr. Paul Bauer, a veteran of more than three decades in the Chicago force, was killed about 2:30 p.m. after confronting a man who had run from police officers, Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a news conference.
Bauer was in plainclothes attire when he was shot. He had been listening to his police radio when he heard his fellow officers were chasing down a suspect.
His death marks the fifth time an officer has been shot and killed across the nation in a little more than a week, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks such deaths.
The suspected shooter, who hasn't been identified, was arrested. A gun was found, Johnson said.
"It's a difficult day for us, but we will get through it," Johnson said, stopping to compose himself. "I just ask the entire city for your thoughts and prayers."
Tactical officers originally approached the suspect because he was acting suspicious, but when they confronted him, a fight broke out and the man ran, Johnson said.
Bauer was at the James R. Thompson Center, which houses Illinois government offices, and saw the suspect.
Bauer was able to catch the man, but the confrontation turned physical. That's when the suspect pulled out a gun and opened fire and struck the officer several times, Johnson said.
Johnson said he has spoken with Bauer's wife and daughter and asked for people in the city to keep them in their thoughts.
Bauer's last moments appeared to be captured over police scanner traffic as officers scouted the area for the suspect.
Officers said over the radio that the suspect took off running. Another officer then radioed that he had just seen the suspect near the Thompson Center, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Then the radio fell silent.
The dispatcher repeatedly asked for the officer but there was no response.
"Don’t anybody get hurt. We just wanted to do a street stop on him, and he took off on me," the first officer said over the radio, the newspaper reported.
Moments later, officers discovered Bauer in a stairwell.
"There’s a radio laying (sic) next to him. Oh s---. Squad, I need somebody over here ASAP," one of the responding officers said, according to the Tribune.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement saying that "the hearts of every Chicagoan are heavy."
"Bauer stood for the highest ideals of our police department and our city — to serve and protect the people of Chicago," Emanuel said. "His death is a tragic reminder of the dangerous duty the men and women of our police department accept to ensure the safety of us all."
The shooting was the 12th across the nation this year that led to an officer being killed, including shootings in Colorado, Texas and Ohio.
On Saturday, two veteran officers in Ohio were killed while responding to an apparent domestic dispute. Officers Anthony Morelli, 54, and Eric Joering, 39, were shot and killed by a man, police say, who shouldn't have been able to have a gun because of felony convictions.
In Colorado, an El Paso County Sheriff's deputy marking his 11th anniversary with the force was killed Feb. 5 in a shooting that also left three law enforcement officers wounded.
The deputy, Micah Flick, 34, is survived by his wife and 7-year-old twins.
And on Wednesday, Richardson, Texas, police officer David Sherrard, 37, was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance at an apartment complex. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
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