RE­PEAT FELON CHARGED IN COP MUR­DER

Sus­pect dodged of­fi­cers be­fore fa­tally shoot­ing Cmdr. Paul Bauer, po­lice say

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY SAM CHARLES, ANDY GRIMM, FRANK MAIN AND MITCH DUDEK Staff Re­porters

A re­peat felon with a decades- long rap sheet was charged Wed­nes­day with first- de­gree mur­der of a po­lice of­fi­cer in the fa­tal shoot­ing of Cmdr. Paul Bauer.

Shomari Leg­ghette, 44, is also charged with ag­gra­vated use of a weapon by a felon and drug pos­ses­sion, of­fi­cials say.

Leg­ghette is ac­cused of shoot­ing Bauer mul­ti­ple times in a stair­well at about 2 p. m. Tues­day in the Thompson Cen­ter.

Chicago Po­lice Supt. Ed­die John­son said at a news con­fer­ence that Bauer was “ex­e­cuted.”

“He didn’t turn the other way and let some­body worry about it,” John­son said of the hero cop.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel added about Bauer: “It wasn’t his rank that mat­tered. It was his re­spon­si­bil­ity that called. Paul Bauer was a pub­lic ser­vant, top to bot­tom.”

Ear­lier that day, Bauer, who was wear­ing his uni­form, had at­tended “ac­tive shooter” train­ing in han­dling mass shoot­ings. He was plan­ning to meet later with al­der­men at City Hall to dis­cuss his ef­forts to quell violence in his Near North Dis­trict.

Bauer was un­able to fire his weapon dur­ing a strug­gle with Leg­ghette in the stair­well, po­lice said.

Bauer had spot­ted Leg­ghette after he heard po­lice ra­dio traf­fic from tac­ti­cal of­fi­cers who were chas­ing him through the Loop. Leg­ghette matched the de­scrip­tion of a sus­pect run­ning in a long, fur- lined coat, po­lice said.

The of­fi­cers wanted to talk to Leg­ghette about a shoot­ing on Lower Wacker Drive on Fri­day af­ter­noon. Some­one in a car had fired at a car trav­el­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, but no one was hit.

Po­lice said they don’t know whether Leg­ghette was in­volved in that in­ci­dent but wanted to see if he knew any­thing about it.

Leg­ghette had evaded the pur­su­ing of­fi­cers when Bauer spot­ted him on the street run­ning south on Clark to­ward the Thompson Cen­ter and City Hall, po­lice said.

The two men strug­gled in a stair­case at the Thompson Cen­ter, and wit­nesses and an au­dio record­ing from a nearby taxi­cab showed seven shots were fired, po­lice said.

The other of­fi­cers came run­ning to the scene and im­me­di­ately ar­rested Leg­ghette, who was found with drugs, wear­ing body ar­mor and with a semi­au­to­matic hand­gun with an ex­tended clip with 30 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion, po­lice said.

Po­lice ra­dio traf­fic on Tues­day af­ter­noon de­scribed Bauer as be­ing “off duty,” but a po­lice spokesman said he was, in fact, on duty.

Leg­ghette’s adult crim­i­nal record in­cludes con­vic­tions for armed rob­bery, re­sist­ing a cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer and felony drug pos­ses­sion.

In 1998, he robbed a For­est Park cou­ple in their drive­way. Leg­ghette claimed he was uri­nat­ing when an ac­quain­tance nick­named “Trou­ble” pointed a pis­tol at a man in his car and or­dered his wife to turn over her valu­ables.

Leg­ghette was ar­rested after get- ting away in a car and run­ning from po­lice. He was sen­tenced to 16 years in prison for the holdup, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments in his un­suc­cess­ful ap­peal.

More re­cently, Leg­ghette was charged in 2014 with sell­ing heroin to a man. Five bag­gies of the drug and $ 138 were found on him. He was con­victed and sen­tenced to two years in prison.

Cook County State’s At­tor­ney Kim Foxx stressed the weight of the charges against Leg­ghette.

“There is no more se­ri­ous of­fense than the killing of a po­lice of­fi­cer in the line of duty,” she said.

On Wed­nes­day, a Sun- Times re­porter vis­ited Leg­ghette’s last listed ad­dress in the 4700 block of South Cham­plain.

A man on the block iden­ti­fied him- self as Leg­ghette’s fa­ther but wouldn’t give his name. Asked if he had any com­ment on the pend­ing charges against Leg­ghette, he said, “Did he shoot the po­lice?” be­fore walk­ing in­side.

Of Bauer, John­son said: “This depart­ment didn’t just lose an ex­em­plary po­lice of­fi­cer, the city lost a piece of it­self, and a fam­ily lost a lov­ing fa­ther and hus­band.”

With his voice crack­ing, Emanuel of­fered his sup­port to Bauer’s wife and daugh­ter.

“Erin and Grace, we love you,” he said. “To the Bauer fam­ily, to the fam­ily of CPD, on be­half of the 2.8 mil­lion Chicagoans, we are hold­ing you in our hearts. We will see to it that Paul’s legacy of pub­lic ser­vice, of de­cency and duty lives on.”

Bauer, 53, lived with his wife and 13- year- old daugh­ter in the Bridge­port neigh­bor­hood. He was the dis­tant cousin of Of­fi­cer Martin Darcy Jr., who was fa­tally shot in the line of duty in 1982, au­thor­i­ties con­firmed.

Bauer’s killing was the first time an of­fi­cer has been shot to death in the line of duty since 2011.

Bauer is re­mem­bered for his ef­forts to reach out to res­i­dents of his dis­trict to hear their con­cerns about crime. He was out­spo­ken in his views that the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem isn’t do­ing enough to lock up re­peat of­fend­ers.

Not a lot is known about Leg­ghette’s back­ground, ex­cept for his crim­i­nal record.

News sto­ries say he played high­school bas­ket­ball for Dun­bar Vo­ca­tional, with 23 points and eight re­bounds at­trib­uted to him in one game in 1991.

But peo­ple who know Leg­ghette say he didn’t stay on the bas­ket­ball team through his se­nior year and was ba­si­cally in trou­ble since then.

Con­tribut­ing: Michael O’Brien

Cmdr. Paul Bauer

Shomari Leg­ghette CPD

| CHICAGO PO­LICE DEPART­MENT PHO­TOS

Shomari Leg­ghette’s book­ing mug ( top left) and mug shots from some of his pre­vi­ous ar­rests.

ASH­LEE REZIN/ SUN- TIMES

Chicago Po­lice Supt. Ed­die John­son an­nounces charges against 44- year- old Shomari Leg­ghette in con­nec­tion with the death of Cmdr. Paul Bauer.

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