CHICAGO (CBS) – A Chicago police officer was shot and killed Saturday night, and a second was critically wounded in the shooting in the West Englewood neighborhood.
“This evening, Chicago mourns the loss of one of its bravest and finest, and we have another officer who is struggling and fighting for his very life,” CPD First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter said early Sunday morning outside University of Chicago Medical Center, where the wounded officers were taken after the shooting.
Carter said officers with the Community Safety Team conducted a traffic stop around 9 p.m. near 63rd and Bell. Three people were in the car, two males and a female.
During the traffic stop, someone in the vehicle opened fire on police, who returned fire.
Two officers and one of the people in the car were wounded. Police said the two men who were in the car were in custody, including one who was shot and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in serious condition. Police were searching for the female who was in the car.
The wounded officers were taken to University of Chicago Medical Center. A 29-year-old female officer later was pronounced dead, and the male officer was in critical condition early Sunday morning.
The name of the officer who died has not been released.
“We ask the city of Chicago to pray for both officers, their families, their fellow officers who are struggling with the facts of this,” Carter said. “This is just another example of how the Chicago Police Department and these officers put their lives above that of others to protect the city day in and day out, selflessly. They go out here and do their jobs thanklessly. They do it without asking for anything. They do it because they love it. They do it because it’s something a higher calling for. And they do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she spent time with the slain officer’s family at the hospital.
“Obviously our hearts ache for the loss of life who succumbed to her injuries. She was very young on the job, but incredibly enthusiastic to do the work,” Lightfoot said. “We must remind ourselves every single day, our officers are fearless in the face of danger. They run into danger to protect us. We can never forget, never forget the sacrifices that they make every single day, as we speak, to protect people and neighborhoods, even in the face of violence.”
“It’s a very sad day, not just for the Chicago Police Department, but it is a very sad and tragic day for our city,” Lightfoot added.
“Tonight, we mourn,” the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police posted on Twitter.
Earlier, before the officer’s death had been announced, the union tweeted, “Lord, please look over these two Officers, keep them and every Officer out in the 8th District safe tonight. This career of service we all chose is one of sacrifice, but please Lord, not tonight. Not tonight.”
— Fraternal Order of Police – Chicago Lodge #7 (@FOP7Chicago) August 8, 2021
Scores of officers gathered outside University of Chicago Medical Center overnight. A procession was expected to take the slain officer’s body to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, where an autopsy will be conducted Sunday morning.
Meantime, at the scene of the shooting, officers were seen actively searching bushes, with police helicopters hovering overhead. Police also had blocked traffic on several streets around the scene of the shooting.
One woman who lives in the area said the block where the shooting happened is typically quiet.
“It’s an industrial area, so there are never any issues. No trouble whatsoever,” she said. “We’re usually worried about Western, down the street, but not right here.”
The officer who died is the fifth female Chicago Police officer to die in the line of duty, and the first woman CPD officer to die in the line of duty in 21 years.
Officer Alane Stoffregen, a police rescue diver, died during a training accident in June 2000.
The last female officer shot and killed in the line of duty in Chicago was Officer Irma Ruiz, who was killed in 1988 while confronting a gunman at Moses Montefiore School.