Feb 14, 2018, 1:52 AM ET

Chicago police commander fatally shot on duty

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A Chicago on-duty police officer was shot and killed after engaging with a suspect near the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago on Tuesday.

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon there was a report of a suspicious person spotted by a police officer who was patrolling the grounds by the Thompson Center, otherwise referred to as the State of Illinois Building, which has businesses on the first floor and a food court on the floor below.

PHOTO: Chicago Police Commander Paul R. Bauer is seen in this undated police handout.Chicago Police Department/EPA via Shutterstock
Chicago Police Commander Paul R. Bauer is seen in this undated police handout.

An officer made initial contact with the suspect but the person fled. Commander Paul Bauer, a decorated officer, spotted the suspect and engaged him, but was shot multiple times, Johnson said.

The suspect, a 44-year-old South Side Chicago man with a 24-year history of drug, gun and armed robbery convictions, was arrested in the aftermath of the shooting, according to ABC affiliate WLS. A weapon was recovered at the scene.

Bauer was rushed to Northwestern Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Johnson, who broke into tears while describing the incident, said that Bauer is survived by his wife and daughter.

Bauer's body was led out of Northwestern Hospital by a convoy of mourning cops to the medical examiner's office.

PHOTO: A Chicago Police officer speaks a with a pedestrian at the scene where an off-duty officer was shot while assisting a tactical team at a state government office building, Feb. 13, 2018, in Chicago.John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune via Getty Images
A Chicago Police officer speaks a with a pedestrian at the scene where an off-duty officer was shot while assisting a tactical team at a state government office building, Feb. 13, 2018, in Chicago.

Already, there has been a flood of support for the fallen commander.

Gov. Bruce Rauner initially offered thoughts and prayers to "the family and colleagues of the officer tragically lost in a shooting at the Thompson Center today."

Then the governor honored Bauer by name.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel also extended his condolences.

In a tweet, the mayor asked "every Chicagoan" to keep Bauer's family "in their thoughts and prayers."

ABC News' Karma Allen and Rachel Katz contributed to this report.

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  • dragster147

    Another person down who was part of a racist system that is out to commit genocide by getting rid of anyone who is not white by any means possible. If this "felon" wasn't oppressed, then instead of being a felon he might have been a productive citizen. This current president has revealed that america is still full of racism and many whites still believe they are superior to other people.

    Racism is still alive and it is that reason alone why there is so much crime in the country. If the rich would share their wealth and the system stop discriminating against minorities and help minority communities so that every citizen had a chance to get a job or make money legitimately instead of being forced to become a gang member because there is no investment in those communities, then there would be less crime.

    Yeah, yeah, I know that to the less intelligent my idea seems crazy, but everyone who calls someone crazy is a person who has very little intelligence and can't or won't think outside the box and really try to solve the crime issues in some communities. No, instead, they want to support the terrorist group, the NRA, and by more guns to use on minorities which keeps the cycle of violence going. Because when YOU think you need a bigger gun, then everyone else thinks THEY need a bigger gun to combat YOUR gun.

    But yeah, you keep calling people like me crazy and keep deflecting. THAT'S really going to fix the crime problems.

  • Jackie

    And, now another 17 of our babies have been murdered! When is there going to reasonable gun control discussion?
    Stop being a part of the problem, try to rise up out the gutter you are stuck in and become a part of the solution!

  • Feltois Young

    He was not on duty.

  • Redsea

    Chicago's finest shoots a young man 16 times and he's dead. A cop, as I stated a cop that know the danger of his job when he applied for it is murdered and you would think the world was about to end. His family will be well taken care of. Also, google "Howard Morgan" of Chicago and see what Chicago's finest did to him. Hell, we all want to make it home safely, not just cops.

  • john hurley

    Chicago suffers from the proffer of strong street narcotics as synthetic thc. Makers produce T or Ice-T with professional pharmaceutical ingredients purchased at boot leg markets. The substance is entirely a chemical compound put through a laboratory mix by a developed recipe. Users report psychotic episodes due to the sheer strength of it when included with hard liquor, lysergic acid, and hashish.

  • threehundredthousand ✓ᵛᵉʳᶥᶠᶥᵉᵈ

    Very sad. The perpetrator was a murder waiting to happen.

    "Officers apprehended a suspect who multiple sources identified as a 44-year-old four-time felon and former prison inmate with an arrest record dating to at least 1994. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 1998 for robbery, court records show. The Tribune is not identifying him because he had not been charged as of Tuesday evening.
    Officers recovered a gun from the man, who was wearing a protective vest, according to a source. In 2007, the suspect was charged with possession of body armor, heroin possession and possession of a defaced firearm, Cook County court records show."
    Chicago Tribune

  • Westword 70

    Heartbreaking, any time it happens, but all the more so, when an officer has served for so long, only to be cut down.
    There are too many career criminals running around loose, on our streets. There is something wrong with our de facto catch and release system, which allows incorrigibles to move among us, and lash out with such destructive results.

  • jimewins

    WHY was a person with that history on the streets?

  • katerant

    The suspect, a 44-year-old South Side Chicago man with a 24-year history of drug, gun and armed robbery convictions, was arrested in the aftermath of the shooting....

    What ever happened to three strikes laws?

  • JDC1

    there were multiple reports that the suspect was wearing a tactical vest that had to be removed before being led away.

  • Truth Bomb

    If the suspect was a Trump supporter, we'd know his name......

  • Clinton Ellison 2020

    King Obama's war against the police continues

  • Right View

    Recidivist criminal shot him, we need more prisons and the death penalty reinstated in Illinois.

  • Dave Park

    Would liberals be OK with a TEN strikes and you're out law to keep guys like this in jail?

  • flnycus

    RIP for him and all the good cops out there.
    Also for all the innocent men shot and killed wrongly.
    Yes we can do both, being outraged at innocent people being hurt and killed by rogue idiots whether they be cops or thugs isnt mutually exclusive.
    Those who decided BLM was about black being more than white or blue lives more than black are to blame for fanning the flames of hatred. The whole point of the BLM was that black lives matter also, all lives matter. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just playing into the hatred.
    I pray for his family and hope he and all officers who have died rest in peace.

  • ohyes2011

    RIP hero.

  • carrollfamily

    my deepest sympathies to this man's family, friends and colleagues. Now the creep will likely remain behind bars for the rest of his worthless life as he should have been.

  • Chupacabra

    - a 24 year history of drug, gun and armed robbery offenses - How was this going to turn out good. Why wasn't this guy still locked up like he should be?

  • Robert Parker

    The suspect, a 44-year-old South Side Chicago man with a 24-year history of drug, gun and armed robbery convictions, was arrested in the aftermath of the shooting, according to ABC affiliate WLS. A weapon was recovered at the scene.
    -----------
    Of course. Another day in Chicago.

    Now, can we get back to looking for a handful or rogue cops every year in a nation of 370 million so we can make pretend all cops are bad and we can wear hoodies and take a knee at pro sports events?

  • Hank R

    RIP and my condolences to your loved ones.

  • Tom Adams

    The creature that shot him had spent 24 years proving he was worthless and should have been eliminated years ago because he isn't worth keeping alive.

  • Thomas

    "...man with a 24-year history of drug, gun and armed robbery convictions..."

    Maybe people with this many convictions should not be out of prison in the first place??

  • maxx1676

    A 24-year history of drug, gun and armed robbery convictions.
    If the law did they`re job this Officer would be alive today.
    I put the blame on the judges and the system for his death.

  • Realpshep

    Too many guns...we will never address this simple fact because of lobbyist....money over life is the American way

  • FFunQ

    Good cops are the best of people with the toughest jobs. I will never say those men and women don't deserve the highest kudos

  • August Jones

    RIP Kelly Thomas....the curse is working.