A 29-year-old female Chicago police officer was killed and her partner was seriously wounded during an armed confrontation with three suspects on the city’s South Side.
Ella French has just returned from maternity leave, and leaves behind a two-month-old daughter.
The two officers were fired upon after a vehicle carrying two men and a woman had been pulled over at 9pm, said Eric Carter, Chicago police first deputy superintendent, at a news conference early Sunday.
The officers returned fire, and one of the people in the vehicle was also wounded.
The wounded suspect was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, and their condition was unknown.
Two suspects were taken into custody and the third, a woman, is on the run, according to police.
Ella French, 29, was shot and killed at 9pm on Saturday in Chicago, during a traffic stop
A female Chicago PD officer, Ella French, was killed and another was seriously wounded during an armed confrontation with a suspect on the city’s South Side.
A flag is raised in tribute to the 29-year-old female officer who lost her life on Saturday
Members of the Chicago police department form an honor guard as the news of their colleague’s murder spread
Dozens of officers arrived outside the University of Chicago Medical Center to pay their respects to French and her injured colleague amid the ongoing explosion of gun violence in the city.
She had joined the force in 2018 and was a member of the community safety team, a citywide unit formed last summer under police Superintendent David Brown to respond to crime hotspots.
The other officer was ‘fighting for his very life,’ Carter said.
Ella French, 29, was shot and killed on Saturday evening
He asked Chicagoans to pray for officers as they risk their lives daily.
‘They go out here and do their jobs thanklessly,’ he said.
‘They do it without asking for anything. They do it because it’s something that’s a higher calling for them. And they do it because it’s the right thing to do.’
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, speaking outside the hospital, said: ‘The officer who succumbed to her injuries was very young on the job, but incredibly enthusiastic to do the work.’
Lightfoot encouraged people to never forget the sacrifices officers make.
‘This is a very tragic and sad day for our city, and pray for officers the men and women of this department,’ the mayor said.
‘They deserve our prayers every single day that they can return home safely to their families, unfortunately that didn’t happen tonight.’
Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, is pictured at a press conference hours after the shooting
First deputy superintendent Eric Carter speaks, as Lightfoot looks on, in the early hours of Sunday
French was the first member of Chicago police department to be shot and killed in the line of duty since Lightfoot became mayor in 2019.
Last year, the deaths of four other Chicago officers who succumbed to COVID-19 were also considered by the police department to be in the line of duty.
The last line-of-duty deaths of Chicago officers who were killed while pursuing a suspect were in December 2018, when Officers Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary were fatally struck by a train as they looked for a suspect wanted for illegally possessing a gun.
That suspect, Edward Brown, was sentenced this past April to a year in prison for a felony weapon violation in the case.
November 2018 saw the last fatal shooting of a Chicago officer, Samuel Jimenez, 28.
In February 2018 Commander Paul Bauer, 53, was shot and killed, while arresting a suspect.
He had served with the Chicago Police Department for 32 years and served as commander of the 018th District.
Ella French (left) with a colleague. French became the first officer killed in the line of duty since November 2018
2021 is on track to become the nation’s deadliest year of gun violence to date as shootings surge
President Biden has announced plan to crack down on firearms dealers but will also let states and cities use $350 billion in COVID relief to hire more cops amid surging violent crime
Police investigate a shooting in Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side on July 21. Officers said 11 people were killed by guns last weekend as homicides surge across the country
Data from July showed murders in the city were nearly the same as the number reported last year, but shootings increased by 15 per cent and the number of people shot in the city rose by nearly 10 per cent year-over-year.
Those statistics, released by the Chicago Police Department, show that there were 105 homicides recorded in the month of July.
That is down slightly from last summer, when 107 people were killed in July, but up significantly over 2019, when 44 murders were recorded – representing a 139 per cent increase in monthly homicides within the last two years.
Police say that 445 homicides have been recorded so far in 2021, compared to 446 during the first seven months of 2020.
Once again, both numbers are significantly higher than those recorded in 2019, when 290 people were killed in the first seven months of the year, representing a 53.4 per cent increase.
Nationwide, between January and July 24 2021, there has been 25,216 gun-related deaths including homicides, murders, suicides, unintentional shootings, and defensive gun use incidents.
On average, this means 123 people have died across the country every single day in 2021.
If the trend continues, almost 45,000 people will lose their lives to gun violence by the end of the year.
This figure dwarfs the 43,563 shooting deaths recorded in 2020 – which had been the deadliest year for shooting incidents in at least two decades.
Source: Daily Mail