Chicago Police Officers Killed By Train While In Pursuit

Dec 19, 2018, 02:45
Chicago Police Officers Killed By Train While In Pursuit

A long, somber procession started before daybreak Tuesday morning, as hundreds of police vehicles escorted the bodies of two Chicago police officers killed Monday night by a speeding train as they pursued an armed suspect.

Eduardo Marmolejo, 37, and Conrad Gary, 31, were chasing a suspected gunman around 6 p.m. when they were hit by a train that may have been traveling 70 miles per hour, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters at a press conference.

Metra officials were informed that the victims had been struck by eastbound South Shore Line train 119, which left Millennium Station at 5:58 p.m., the Chicago Sun-Times reported, citing Metra spokeswoman Sylvia Cooper. He said the investigation was still in the early stages and that more details would be released at a later time.

In the distance, they saw an approaching train whose noise may have masked the sound of another high-speed train full of commuters only feet behind the partners, police said.

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"These fearless young men were consumed with identifying a potential threat", police superintendent Eddie Johnson said late Monday at the Police Department's South Side headquarters.

Gary, 31, had been on the force 18 months.

Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo, 36, died Monday in what has been called a "devastating tragedy" that claimed the lives of two fathers one week before Christmas. "There are no words to express our grief, our sense of loss". "It just knocks you back on your heels", he said.

Mr Johnson said the two officers went to the scene Monday after an alert went out.

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"It highlights again just how unsafe this job can be. I often say that the most risky thing a police officer can do is take a weapon off of an armed individual", he said.

The officers were responding to reports of shots fired when the tragedy occurred. In February, Commander Paul Bauer was fatally shot while trying to arrest a gunman, and two other officers took their own lives in the department's parking lot.

In 2002, Chicago police officer Benjamin Perez was fatally struck by a commuter train while conducting surveillance on narcotics activity on the city's West Side.

In all, 43 United States police officers have been killed in the line of duty during 2018.

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It's been an extraordinarily trying year for the Chicago police department. Their deaths come about a month after Officer Samuel Jimenez, 28, was killed in a mass shooting at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center on the Near South Side.