City in mourning, third suspect in custody after shooting that killed Chicago police officer Ella French and seriously injured second officer


By Steven Graves, Jackie Kostek

CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Sunday a day of mourning as police detained and questioned three suspects in a shootout on the edge of West Englewood and Chicago Lawn that left one dead and another seriously injured.

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“Despite the shock, pain and sorrow we feel this morning, our brothers and sisters in blue put on the uniform every day. They get to work risking everything to serve the people of Chicago, ”said the Chicago Police Department superintendent. said David Brown. “They are ready to sacrifice their lives to save the lives of complete strangers.”

A 29-year-old female police officer was killed and one officer was left in critical condition. Late Sunday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the identity of the officer who was killed As Ella French.

Officer Ella French (Photo credit: Chicago Police)

Officers from the Community Safety Team conducted a traffic stop around 9 p.m. near 63rd Street and Bell Avenue in West Englewood. There were three people in the car: two men and a woman. During the traffic stop, someone in the vehicle opened fire on the police, who retaliated.

CBS 2 learned that at the time of the shooting, one officer was standing near the driver’s side door, the other near the passenger side door.

Sources told CBS 2 that the passenger shot the two officers from the back seat of the car. Brown says the police fired back, injuring the gunman.

As CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek reported, surveillance footage from a nearby house shows an officer getting out of his car and walking near the fence. In less than 15 seconds, a flurry of officers arrives.

About a minute later, several police officers walk down the sidewalk. Soon after, an ambulance pulls up, a stretcher is brought to the fence, and someone appears to be loaded onto the ambulance.

Police said the two men in the car were taken into custody on Saturday evening, including one who was shot and taken to Advocate Christ Oak Lawn Medical Center in serious condition.

Police arrested the suspect on Sunday morning, Brown said.

Police said the suspect’s gun was recovered.

“As soon as we have interviewed all the offenders – and they all cooperate – we will have confirmation of the role each played,” Brown said.

When asked why the officers triggered the traffic stop in the first place, the superintendent. Brown said they would rely on interviews with suspects.

“What we think is that interviewing the offender will reveal all of this information to us from their statements, so we’re going to stop ourselves from guessing why the shutdown happened and really listen to what the offenders are saying because ‘they’re being interviewed now,’ Brown said.

As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, Brown said the suspects were all cooperating.

The three suspects were still being questioned on Sunday evening. Brown said the suspect who police said fired the gun had “a criminal history of robbery,” but none of the offenders had an extensive criminal history.

Police did not disclose the reason for the traffic stop, saying more information would come to light during the investigation.

“A lot of what happened was caught on a body camera. We know that,” said Brown.

Officer French had been in post since 2018. Her spouse started in 2014.

Brown said much of what happened was captured on a body cam, but that video cannot yet be released. The Civilian Police Accountability Office will investigate.

Officer French was the fifth woman to die in the line of duty in Chicago Police history, and the first in 20 years.

The surviving officer remained in very critical condition on Sunday evening. He served approximately six years in the force.

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Her family had no other statement than – “pray”.

The community safety team French and his partner have been assigned to fight crime and specifically connect with religious leaders and community groups.

So far in 2021, 38 CPD officers have been shot or slaughtered. Eleven of those officers were beaten, and this officer is the first to die this year. In 2020, 79 officers were shot or shot. Brown said this year’s number is a 500% increase in the number of officers shot or slaughtered from 2019.

Mayor Lightfoot declared a day of mourning and demanded that all flags be hoisted at their waist.

She issued a statement saying in part, “Please keep this officer in your prayers. Also keep the other officer who was shot in your prayers as well as his family and friends and every day for the rest of his life, uplift him and support him. They will need our help as a city.

Lightfoot also addressed concerns she called “another problem that has plagued our city for too long.” Lightfoot said some thought the city was not doing enough to help Chicago police or to allow them to do their jobs while others believed the police were not being held accountable, “particularly in the neighborhoods. black and brown, “and called on all who make these arguments to” just stop. “

Here is Lightfoot’s full statement:

I am here as mayor to declare today an official day of mourning for our city. All buildings in the city will be waving flags at their waist and I call on all other private buildings to do the same. The tragedy has taken root again. We mourn the loss of a young officer and, as I did in private early in the morning, I want to publicly offer my condolences to his mother, brother, family and friends.

Please keep this officer in your prayers. Also keep the other officer who was shot in your prayers as well as his family and friends and every day for the rest of his life, uplift him and support him. They will need our help as a city.

Two young people, doing what is asked of them, using self, commitment and dedication.

I also want to address another issue that has plagued our city for too long. Some say we are not doing enough for the police and preventing them from doing their job. There are others who say we do too much for the police and never hold them accountable for what they do, especially in black and brown neighborhoods.

All of this, I say, stop. Stopped. This constant conflict is not what we need right now. Of course, we must continue on the path to achieve a constitutional and accountable police. It cannot be debated at this stage.

But let me also repeat what I have said before and what I know to be true: the police are not our enemy. They are human, just like us. Defective, just like us, but also risking their lives every day for our safety. This reality became very real last night, in an emergency room, amid the tears and fears of the bravest and bravest people I know. A mother lost her daughter last night. A brother his sister. A family broken forever.

Another continues to watch, on a hospital bed, uttering powerful prayers but probably fearing the worst. They are suffering, that’s understandable.

In times like these, life comes down to its core essence. And it will be the same for these two families.

For the rest of us. People of good will in this city, I urge you, we must come together. We must unite. We have a common enemy: guns and gangs. Eradicating both is complex, but we cannot be put off by the scale of the challenge. We must continue to deal hard blows every day. No gang member, no drug dealer, no gun dealer can ever have a moment of peace in any block, in any neighborhood, not in our city.

And to get there, we must be united and determined in our determination to do so. The moment we find ourselves in has lasted for decades. But the protests are happening now, under my watch, under our watch. We got to be together right now, all of us, every block, every neighborhood. We must reclaim the physical and moral territory. Shoulder to shoulder, fighting for each other, not each other. We have a common enemy. Let us not lose sight of this.

Today, as we reflect and mourn, let us lift up the names of all of our victims of community violence. Say their names. Say their names and pray that the Lord will welcome the dead to a place where there is no longer sorrow.

And also today I ask this, when you see a policeman, say thank you. Say thank you. Dedicated and dedicated officers showed up for duty today, despite the pain of losing one of their own, and despite their fears and possibly the fears of their families as they walk through the door to report to work. These officers deserve a safe return home today and every day. We owe them a debt of gratitude that we can never really repay. But let’s not forget to try, every day. say thank you to the Chicago cops you see today. Be grateful for their sacrifice and service on behalf of all of us.

US Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) also paid tribute to the deceased Senate floor officer on Sunday. He reminded his colleagues in Washington of the very real risk to the lives of officers.

“Gun violence and gun death are daily threats in many neighborhoods – neighborhoods where it is easier to find the gun than it is to find a job,” said Durbin. “Sadly, it is increasingly a deadly threat to the Chicago police officers who work in these neighborhoods.”

Durbin also called for stricter gun laws to reduce easy access to guns.

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The Chicago Police Memorial Fund also offered its condolences and assistance to the families of Officer French and the officer who are still fighting for his life. The fund pledged financial and emotional support to help their families get through this difficult time.

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