Chicago Police on Sunday confirmed the identity of an officer killed in the line of duty over the weekend, announcing that Ella French, 29, was shot and killed in the West Englewood neighborhood during a road check.
The ministry had previously refused to identify French after a request from his mother. Since French was identified late Sunday afternoon, condolences have poured in from police departments across the country and details have surfaced about the young officer and who she was.
The French joined the department in April 2018, according to police officials. She is the first Chicago cop to be killed in the line of duty since Cops Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmalejo were struck and killed by a Metra train while responding to a call for gunfire in December 2018 .
French was a member of the ministry’s community safety team and had been with the force for nearly four years, officials said.
“The officer who succumbed to his injuries was very young on the job, but incredibly excited to get the job done,” First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter said at a Sunday evening press conference.
She graduated from Community High School District 99 in January 2009, the district said. She attended North High for her freshman year in the fall of 2005 and joined the school as a senior in the fall of 2008.
“District 99 mourns the loss of Ella and sends condolences to her family and loved ones,” the district said in a statement.
Misinformation had spread across social media over the weekend before French was identified, including claims by some who said French had recently returned from maternity leave and had a child. Chicago Police Superintendent. David Brown, however, said such rumors were inaccurate.
“This is not correct,” Brown said on Sunday. “I just encourage you not to follow the news from Twitter.”
Few details have been released on what exactly happened the night French was killed.
Police said three officers stopped a car with three people inside near 63rd Street and Bell, but details surrounding what prompted the traffic to stop were not immediately disclosed.
When the police approached the car, one of the occupants of the vehicle opened fire, authorities said. French was shot in the head and his partner was also shot and remains in critical condition in a Chicago hospital.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that French’s death was homicide.
One of the suspects in the case, believed to be the gunman by police, was shot and wounded during the confrontation and has been taken into police custody. Another suspect was also taken into custody at the scene.
A third suspect was located and arrested early Sunday, according to Chicago police.
Charges are still pending and talks are still ongoing, authorities said. Police said the incident was largely captured on body camera video, but it was not clear if and when those footage would be released.
“We will never forget the real bravery [Officer French] pictured as she sacrificed her life to protect others, “Chicago Police tweeted Sunday.” Please keep her family, loved ones and fellow Chicago police officers in your thoughts as we mourn the loss of this hero. ”