Police Commander Paul Bauer Killed by Felon in Chicago

Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer was shot multiple times yesterday afternoon by an armed felon who was wearing body armor. Bauer was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer was shot multiple times yesterday at around 2:30 p.m. by a convicted felon who was wearing body armor. Bauer, commander of the 18th district on the Near North side, was at a building where he confronted the suspect before being fatally shot.

According to NBC Chicago, the suspect, whose name has yet to be released, was involved in an altercation with officers after they had noted that he was acting suspiciously. The suspect escaped, with Bauer responding to a radio call from tactical officers patrolling nearby.

Bauer was at the building in the 100 block of West Randolph Street in Chicago’s Loop when he saw a man fitting the suspect’s description. He chose to confront the suspect and an argument ensued. Bauer was shot multiple times. A witness reported that he heard up to five shots.

The unfortunate events would claim Bauer’s life: He was transported via ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and was pronounced dead.

The suspect in Bauer’s killing has an extensive criminal record. He was charged with armed robbery in 1998 and sentenced to 16 years in prison. In 2007, the suspect was charged with being in possession of body armor, a defaced firearm, and heroin. The charges netted him a three-year prison sentence. There were also charges of resisting an officer and battery in 2011, and drug possession in 2014 that resulted in a two-year prison sentence.

Bauer was the first police officer who was shot and killed since Officer Clifton Lewis died in 2011, and is the first high-ranking officer to have been killed since Department Superintendent James Riordan was killed in 1981.

There was initial confusion about whether Bauer was off-duty at the time he was shot. It was revealed via Twitter by Officer Anthony Guglielmi, Chicago police department spokesman, that Bauer was on duty. Bauer was attending training at the Chicago fire department before he was shot.

“There was no communication from him on the radio informing dispatch that he was in pursuit of the offender or that he was even on scene,” wrote Guglielmi in an email, “so they initially thought it was an off-duty officer until someone recognized him.”

The suspect is in custody and a gun was recovered at the scene of the crime.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, speaking outside the hospital at a news conference, was grim but resolved to surmount the tragedy, saying, “It is a difficult day for us, but we will get through it.”

Paul Bauer is survived by his wife and a 13-year-old daughter.