Authorities confirmed that an off-duty officer was shot and killed in downtown Chicago on Tuesday afternoon.
The officer has been identified as 53-year-old Cmdr. Paul Bauer of the city’s 18th district. The incident happened at the James R. Thompson Center.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that tactical officers were just on routine patrol Tuesday when they observed someone acting suspiciusly around 2:30 p.m. They first approached the individual in an attempt to speak to him, but a physical struggle ensued and the person escaped.
31-year-old veteran Bauer happened to be in the area at that time and overheard police radio transmission. Bauer took the initiative then to talk to the individual. The person resisted again and became hostile leading to a physical confrontation. Bauer was shot multiple times.
Johnson shared that officers have since arrested the suspect. He is now in police custody. Officers have also recovered the weapon used by the suspect in shooting Bauer.
Witnesses said police officers warned residents to get off the streets shortly after the shots were fired. They also started blocking off the streets and entrances to the Thompson Center.
Johnson asked Chicago citizens to pray for Bauer and his family. He is also set to meet with the officer’s wife and daughter. He added: “It’s a difficult day for us. We will get through it. I ask the city for their thoughts and prayers- any loss of life is tragic.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner also tweeted condolences to Bauer’s family and colleagues on Tuesday.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and colleagues of the officer tragically lost in a shooting at the Thompson Center today.</p>— Bruce Rauner (@GovRauner) <a href="https://twitter.com/GovRauner/status/963531486015250432?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 13, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>