Chicago police say two officers investigating a shots-fired call on the city’s far South Side have died after being struck by a train.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the officers who were fatally hit Monday evening were 37-year-old Eduardo Marmolejo and 31-year-old Conrad Gary. Johnson said Marmolejo had been with the department for two and a half years and Gary for 18 months.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the train, filled with commuters, was likely travelling 60 to 65 mph. Johnson said the officers were struck shortly after 6 p.m.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said a weapon was recovered and a person of interest is being questioned.
“There they were … doing their job, trying to protect the rest of us” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “We lost two young men, both fathers with young families. This holiday will never be the same for those two families. We lost people who answered the call to make Chicago a better place”, reported by USA Today.
A suspect believed to be involved in the shooting incident that caused the officers to be dispatched to the area was taken into custody. Police also discovered a weapon in the area. The suspect was being questioned by police Monday night.
Johnson said officers responded after the department’s ShotSpotter system detected gunfire in the area. The officers were struck as they were pursuing a suspect who made his way up to the train tracks, Johnson said.
“The most dangerous thing is to take a weapon off an armed individual,” Johnson said.
Local media reported that the officers were struck by a train operated by the South Shore commuter rail line that links northern Indiana and Chicago.
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.
Two other Chicago officers besides Marmolejo and Gary were killed in the line of duty this year, Fox News reported.
“I think it’s really important that we put our arms around the Chicago Police Department and hold them up and support them at this critical juncture, because we are so dependent on their professionalism and their sense of duty,” Mayor Emanuel said Monday night.
Source: The Associated Press, Fox News & USA Today