Paul Bauer was identified as the off-duty Chicago police commander who was shot by an assailant at the Thompson Center in the downtown Chicago Loop. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Bauer has died.
Bauer was 53 and commanded the near north district. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was close to tears as he announced Bauer’s death.
The suspect was arrested at the scene. WGN-TV anchor Ben Bradley tweeted, “Source says Chicago police officer who was shot at the Thompson Center is a high ranking member of the department. He was rushed to the hospital. Suspect in custody.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Confirmed the Officer Was Shot
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted out some sketchy details on the incident. “UPDATE – CPD officer assisting a tactical team and was shot by assailant. Transported to Northwest Hospital. Updates to follow,” he wrote.
Guglieli also tweeted, “Shooting – Thompson center. CPD member shot. Transported to area hospital. Superintendent Johnson and command staff en route. Updates to follow.”
The officer was reportedly shot four times in a stairwell at the Thompson Center.
2. People in the Area Were Locked Down in Walgreens
People near the scene told CBS Local that it was a chaotic and frightening moment. “They actually had us locked in Walgreens,” one witness said to CBS. “They taped it off, so we couldn’t get out. Just for a minute, and then they all hopped in their cop cars, and they all went south on Clark.”
3. The Officer Was Assisting a Tactical Team
According to CBS Local, the shot officer “was assisting a tactical team at the time, and was shot by an assailant.” According to the Tribune, the officer was shot when responding to a robbery call.
4. The Police Superintendent Wrote That the Department Had Suffered a Tragedy ‘That Is Difficult to Comprehend’
Chicago’s Police Superintendent sent out an email to the department that confirmed the tragedy. According to the Chicago Tribune, it read, “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.”
5. A Witness Heard Five Gunshots
Noreen Janko told The Chicago Tribune that she heard 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. 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).”