Chicago police officer killed, another in critical condition after being shot on the South Side

A Chicago police officer was killed and another was seriously wounded in a shooting Saturday night in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side.

At about 9:08 p.m., Community Safety Team officers conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of 63rd Street and Bell Avenue when shots were fired at them, striking a female officer and a male officer.

Both officers were transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where the female officer, 29, died from her injuries. She has been identified as Ella French, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner. She suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

The male officer is listed in critical condition, police said. 

First Deputy Eric Carter talked to reporters outside the hospital early Sunday.

"We ask the city of Chicago to pray for both officers, their families and their fellow officers who are struggling with the facts of this," Carter said. "It’s just another example of how the Chicago Police Department and these officers put their lives above that of others to protect this city day in, day out."

With him was Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who said "obviously our hearts ache for the loss of life."

Lightfoot said the officer who died was "very young on the job, but incredibly enthusiastic to do the work."

"We must remind ourselves every day that our officers are fearless in the face of danger," she said. "It’s a very sad and tragic day for our city."


Two offenders were placed in custody and police say a weapon was recovered from the scene.

One of the offenders was also struck by gunfire and was taken to Christ Hospital. The offender is in stable condition.

A third suspect, a woman, was being sought by police late Saturday. She was taken into custody Sunday morning.

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Chicago police Supt. David Brown released the following statement early Sunday:

"The Chicago Police Department has lost one of our own in an incomprehensible act of violence. A 29-year-old female officer assigned to the Community Safety Team was shot and killed in the line of duty Saturday night. A second officer was also shot and is in critical condition.

These officers put the safety and lives of others above their own, serving with courage and honor despite knowing the cost. 

Please pray for the family and loved ones of the fallen officer who will now face a world without her. Please also pray for the recovery of the officer who is fighting for his life. 

I ask you to please hold their fellow officers in your thoughts as they process this heartbreaking tragedy. 

We will never forget the sacrifices these officers made to protect this city. We cannot forget."

Some of the first police calls from the scene described one officer being shot.

"Officer down," an officer radioed around 9:10 p.m.

"I got an officer down," a police dispatcher repeats. "6-3 and Bell, officer down, officer down, shot twice, shot at police, officer down.

"Stay off my air, stay off my air," the dispatcher continues, asking for no unnecessary calls on the channel. "Everybody stay off the air, I got an officer down, 6-3 and Bell, start rolling.

An officer is heard yelling, in apparent distress, and the dispatcher says, "Give me two ambulances, two ambulances needed for two officers down, two officers down … Get those officers wrapped up going to 6-3 and Bell. I want a perimeter set up three blocks, north south, east, west."

About a block from the shooting, neighbors looked out cautiously from their front yards on what one resident said was a "quiet block."

"Be careful, they’re still looking for someone," a woman warned a neighbor as she walked by.

Dozens of officers could be seen patrolling the neighborhood and blocking streets in the area while a police helicopter flew overhead.

Officers tied blue ribbons to trees shortly before midnight near the medical examiner’s office in preparation for a procession to bring the officer who died to the morgue.

Outside the medical center, a large crowd of police officers gathered outside an ambulance bay. They included city, county and state police officials and supporters.

Some in the crowd held a group prayer and others hugged each other and engaged in hushed conversation. Water bottles were passed out by police personnel wearing jackets that read "Peer Support."

The last Chicago Police officers who died in the line of duty were Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo, who were chasing a man with a gun on the Far South Side when they were struck by a train and killed in December of 2018.

The last officer shot to death in the line of duty was Samuel Jimenez, who was killed just a month earlier while responding to a shooting at Mercy Hospital. Three other people died, including the gunman.

The incident remains under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. 

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.