Chicago, IL – A Chicago police officer is fighting for his life after being repeatedly shot in the head and shoulder by a gunman who murdered his partner on Saturday night.
The attack occurred around 9:10 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Bell Avenue as three Chicago police officers were conducting a traffic stop, WLS reported.
Investigators said there were three occupants inside the suspect vehicle – a female and two males, according to WBBM.
One officer was standing near the passenger’s side door of the suspect vehicle and another was standing near the driver’s side door when a male in the back seat opened fire on them, sources told the news outlet.
“Officer down,” an officer radioed around 9:10 p.m., according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I got an officer down,” a police dispatcher alerted. “Six three and Bell, officer down, officer down, shot twice, shot at police, officer down.”
An officer yelled out just before the dispatcher issued another directive, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Give me two ambulances, two ambulances needed for two officers down, two officers down … Get those officers wrapped up going to six three and Bell. I want a perimeter set up three blocks, north south, east, west.”
— Yid Info (@YidInfoNews) August 8, 2021
Chicago Police Officer Ella French, a 29-year-old, three-year department veteran, was murdered in the attack.
She also previously served with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), according to WLS.
Her 39-year-old partner was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition and remains hospitalized in the ICU, fighting for his life.
Sources told WLS he was shot three times.
One bullet lodged in the back of his head, a second exited his eye, and the third hit him in the shoulder, they said.
The six-year veteran of the department has a wife and a young son, WLS reported.
Officers returned fire, wounding the gunman, who was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in serious condition, WBBM reported.
The second male inside the suspect vehicle ran from the scene and scaled a fence at a nearby home, drawing the attention of area residents, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Three neighbors confronted the suspect near a backyard swing set.
The suspect allegedly hit one of the citizens during the encounter, at which point the civilian trio tackled him to the ground, the Chicago Tribune reported.
They held him down until police arrived moments later and took him into custody.
The female suspect also initially fled the scene, but was apprehended on Sunday, police told the Chicago Tribune.
“As soon as we get all of the offenders interviewed – and they are all cooperating – we’ll have confirmation on the role each person played,” Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown told WBBM.
Law enforcement officers responded to the hospital throughout the night as a show of support for the wounded male officer, who is surrounded by his family as he fights to survive, WLS reported.
His identity has not been released.
Chicago police pray at the hospital where their shot colleagues were brought.
Officer Ellen French died and leaves behind her infant child. Another cop fights for his life.
An inspiring but heartbreaking scene of the best of the blue… pic.twitter.com/55qIWEGgdW
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) August 9, 2021
New Life Community Church Pastor Mark Jobe said on Sunday that he had spoken with the wounded officer’s father in the wake of the shooting, WLS reported.
“The father, I was telling him, ‘You need to get some rest,'” Jobe told the news outlet. “He said, ‘No, I’m gonna stay here as many days as it takes and not leave my son’s side.'”
He said the officer has “a real heart for the community, for the people,” the pastor added. “It wasn’t a duty where he felt he was stuck in this area. He really loved that place and has an amazing wife and a little boy.”
Elizabeth Orsini said in a Facebook post on Sunday that the wounded officer is her cousin, “Carlos,” and urged everyone to pray for him.
“He has a loving wife and a sweet baby boy!” Orsini’s post read. “If you ever had the chance to meet him, you would know what a loving man he is! Biggest smile and huge heart!”
Carlos is the other Chicago Police Officer that was shot multiple times in the head and is fighting for his life. He’s a father, husband, son, and brother. His life matters. His partner Officer French was Murdered. pic.twitter.com/uJOVrFEXXK
— Rob O'Donnell (@odonnell_r) August 9, 2021
Officer French’s murder marked the 11th time a Chicago police officer has been shot so far this year, WLS reported.
They have come under fire a total of 38 times in 2021, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Superintendent Brown noted that is a 500 percent increase from the number of officers who were shot or shot at in 2019, WBBM reported.
Please also pray for her wounded partner, who is in the hospital fighting for his life. We're asking for everyone to lift up this officer and his family as we pray for his recovery.
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) August 8, 2021
Dozens of law enforcement officers lined Leavitt and Harrison streets early Sunday morning as Officer French’s body was escorted to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The somber sound of the big pipes as @Chicago_Police salute their fallen officer who was killed in the line of duty — and we all mourn the loss of a hero. We pray for her family & her partner, who is currently fighting for his life after also being shot. pic.twitter.com/xMhJBL8ygh
— Bill Bratton (@CommissBratton) August 8, 2021
Her brother, Andrew French, said Officer French “was a bright, beautiful person.”
“[She] wanted to do good for the world,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “My sister is a bada-ss. She always wanted to make a difference … however it was possible. I was never surprised when she said she was going to be a sheriff and then a cop. It just made sense.”
Despite reports to the contrary, Officer French was not married and had no children, Andrew French told the paper.
Officer Ella French of the Chicago Police Department was shot and killed last night while working on duty. Please continue to pray for the family of Officer French and the fast recovery of her partner who was also shot.
This violence towards LE must end! pic.twitter.com/3hmt2Z0Zz8
— Chief Scott Hughes (@ChiefShughes) August 8, 2021
Officer French is the first female Chicago police officer to be killed in the line of duty since 1988, and is the fifth female officer to die in the line of duty in the history of the department, WLS reported.
“A mother lost her daughter last night,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters on Sunday. “A brother, his sister. A family, forever shattered. Another continues to keep vigil at a hospital bed, sending up powerful prayers but no doubt fearing the worst.”
Mayor Lightfoot says Chicago city buildings will fly flags at half staff
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) August 8, 2021
Superintendent Brown praised the city’s law enforcement officers for their dedication to the community, even in the midst of their grief and loss.
“I’m asking Chicago to wrap their arms around our police officers today and encourage them to continue their great work in protecting us all,” he said.
“Despite the shock, grief pain and sorrow we feel this morning, our brothers and sisters in blue put the uniform on each and every day. They go to work risking everything to serve the people of Chicago,” Superintendent Brown continued. “They’re willing to sacrifice their lives to save the lives of perfect strangers.”
Please keep the family and loved ones of the Chicago Police officer who was shot on Saturday, August 7th in your prayers. He continues to fight for his life. pic.twitter.com/DHdkD7MUid
— 8TH District-Chicago Lawn (@ChicagoCAPS08) August 9, 2021
Superintendent Brown said the officers’ bodycams captured most of the shooting.
Investigators said they have recovered the gun they believe was used to attack the officers.
The superintendent said the alleged gunman has “a criminal background for robbery,” but that none of the suspects have extensive criminal histories, WBBM reported.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability will investigate the officer-involved shooting, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Officer French and her partner were just two of the 75 people who were shot in Chicago over the weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Half of those shootings occurred in a 10-hour window, to include three mass shootings that left 16 people wounded.