Two Chicago police officers were tragically struck and killed by a train while responding to reports of shots fired in the city’s far South Side.
Officers Eduardo Marmolejo, 36, and Conrad Gary, 31 were investigating reports issued through the ShotSpotter application shortly after 6pm local time on Monday.
When the two officers confronted the suspect, he fled the scene along the train tracks. It was at this point the cops were struck and killed by a metro train passing through a 65mph zone of track. Both men, who had served 2.5 and 1.5 years on the force respectively, were fathers of young children.
“I am deeply saddened by this tragic event and ask that everyone keep their (families) and co-workers in their thoughts and prayers,” police superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a press conference. “An investigation is underway, and we will keep everyone updated as details emerge.”
A procession to escort the men’s bodies from the scene to the medical examiner’s office was held in the early hours of Tuesday morning and was attended by uniformed and plain clothes officers alike, both on and off-duty.
PHOTOS: The remains of two Chicago Police Officers arrive at the Medical Examiners Office early Tuesday Morning. The two officers were stuck and killed by a train while pursuing a suspect in the far south side. Stay with @Suntimes for more information and updates. #Chicagopic.twitter.com/U0Rl1ayg9e
— Tyler LaRiviere (@TylerLaRiviere) December 18, 2018
There between 500 and 600 passengers on the train at the time of incident, but there were no reported injuries among those on board. The passengers were held on the train for approximately two and a half hours before being transferred to buses.
A weapon was recovered and a person of interest is being questioned at the site where two newly appointment #ChicagoPolice officers lost their lives protecting their community from a gunman.
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) December 18, 2018
A police spokesperson confirmed that a weapon had been recovered at the scene and that police were speaking to a person of interest, but he did not provide any additional details.
The deaths bring the total number of Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty in 2018 to four.
Samuel Jimenez was killed in a mass shooting at a hospital in near South Side in November, while Paul Bauer was shot while chasing a suspect downtown.
The Calumet District where Monday’s deaths occurred has had a particularly tragic year with two officers taking their own lives in the parking lot of the station and another who passed away after a heart attack while on duty in the station.
“This has been an immensely difficult year for the Chicago Police Department,” Superintendent Johnson added, “especially for the men and women of the 5th District, where they have faced tragedy after tragedy this year.”
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