A Chicago police officer was shot and killed on Wednesday afternoon on the Southwest Side of Gage Park while he was chasing down an armed suspect.
Around 4:45 pm, several officers were called to the 5200 block of South Spaulding Avenue after a woman reported being chased by a man with a gun.
Officer Andrew Vasquez-Lasso, 32, was one of the officers who responded to the call and pursued the shooting suspect.
During the chase, the 18-year-old suspect suddenly turned and fired “at close range,” hitting Officer Vasquez-Lasso several times. Although he had been shot multiple times, Vasquez-Lasso was able to return fire, hitting the suspect in the head.
Right after the shooting, a cop screamed into the police radio, “10-1, 10-1. Officer down… Send an ambulance.”
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The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.
Vasquez-Lasso was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he died.
Police Supt. David Brown, who had announced his resignation from the department just hours prior, spoke to reporters outside Mount Sinai Hospital. He said that Vasquez-Lasso had spent nearly five years on the force and “had a bright future in front of him.”
He also said that the slain officer “came from a family of public servants.”
“There’s some broken hearts that will take a long time to give,” added Brown.
“Policing is a big family of people who know at some point they may be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice, but you never wish or hope that it actually happens. And tonight this tragedy did,” Brown continued.
Briefly addressing the shooting suspect, Brown said that he had one prior arrest that took place last summer. He had been found with two handguns after running from a stolen car that was wanted in a shooting. He was only charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest – a charge which was later dropped.
Paul Vallas, the leading mayoral candidate for the city, said the shooting “is a tragic reminder of what our police officers do each and every day, laying their lives on the line. This violence must come to an end.”
“The courageous men and women of the Chicago police department have suffered another tragic loss of one of their own to the ultimate sacrifice of protecting our communities,” Vallas said. “My heartfelt thoughts are with the officer’s loved ones and the entire CPD family who are grieving during this difficult time.”
Vallas, who is now in a mayoral runoff election, recently defeated Dem. Mayor Lori Lightfoot who was running for reelection, under whom violent crime rose throughout the city.
Vallas is running on a platform focused on restoring law and order, reducing crime, and improving public safety. Meanwhile, Lightfoot spent her time as mayor tearing the power away from the police and demoralizing them.
The delusional ex-mayor, on the same day Vasquez-Lasso was gunned down, blamed her election loss on “racism” and “gender” biases, ignoring the major issues that arose under her leadership.