Of­fi­cer’s death is 5th in less than two weeks

High-ranking Chicago cop shot, killed Tues­day

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Christal Hayes

The slay­ing of a top Chicago cop marks the fifth time an of­fi­cer has been gunned down in less than two weeks.

Cmdr. Paul Bauer, a vet­eran of more than three decades in the Chicago force, was killed about 2:30 p.m. Tues­day after con­fronting a man who had run from po­lice of­fi­cers, Su­per­in­ten­dent Ed­die John­son said.

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.

The shoot­ing was the 12th across the na­tion that led to an of­fi­cer’s death so far this year, in­clud­ing re­cent shoot­ings in Colorado, Texas and Ohio, 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, 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 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 as we mourn” Bauer’s death.

“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.”

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 fallen deputy, Micah Flick, 34, is sur­vived by his wife and 7-year-old twins.

And on Feb. 7, 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.

The shoot­ings come as the num­ber of law en­force­ment of­fi­cers killed in the line of duty dropped sharply in 2017, mark­ing the sec­ond-low­est toll in more than 50 years.

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