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Chicago police commander shot to death while responding to robbery

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CHICAGO -- A high-ranking Chicago police officer died after he was shot Tuesday afternoon while assisting a tactical team responding to a robbery at the Thompson Center administrative building in downtown Chicago, sources said.

The officer, identified as a commander, was shot a little before 2 p.m., according to Chicago Police chief spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. The officer was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and has died, sources said.

Guglielmi would not confirm the death or identify the officer.

Sources said a suspect was arrested and taken to Area Central police headquarters.

Noreen Janko said she was walking back to her office building across the street from the Thompson Center when she heard shots.

"I heard the gunshots go off, about five shots, and then the stairs there to the pedway, I think they have the guy cornered because they lock those doors down there," Janko said. "So they took him with shackles and then they put him in the squad. Then the ambulance came, about five minutes (later) they brought out a guy who was shot. He was on the stretcher, there was blood and they were doing (CPR).

"I was walking down the street and I heard 'pop-pop-pop-pop-pop,' " Janko said. "And I said to the girl next to me, 'Is that what I think it is?' And she said 'Yep.' ... And everybody is scurrying all over and I see the police head to the stairs there. ...

"Anyway, so they had him cornered and eventually they brought him up the stairs and put him in the squad," Janko said.

As officers gathered at Northwestern, Superintendent Eddie Johnson sent out an email to members of his department: "Today, our department suffered a tragedy that it is difficult to comprehend. This afternoon, a CPD commander was shot while assisting fellow officers. Information is still coming in at this time, but I wanted you to know as soon as possible. We will provide additional details as they come. Please take the time to keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. Stay safe."

 

Outside the emergency room entrance, about a dozen plainclothes officers gathered in the middle of Erie Street. A number of marked and unmarked police and Chicago Fire Department vehicles, some of them with emergency lights flashing, were parked outside.

A uniformed officer hugged another officer in the middle of the street.

At the scene of the shooting, officers stretched crime tape from City Hall to the Thompson Center.

Federal agents and Illinois state police joined Chicago detectives. Onlookers crowded the corners, and people at times had to dodge falling ice. Many workers said they could not get back into the buildings.

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