Chicago hero cop shot dead by felon in body armor

A 31-year veteran of the Chicago police department was killed on duty Tuesday afternoon by a parolee wearing a protective vest and armed with a semi-automatic weapon.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Cmdr. Paul Bauer, 53, a beloved officer in the local community, was shot dead in a Thompson Center stairwell while working with a tactical team to apprehend the suspect.

NBC 5 Chicago reports that Shomari Legghette, 44, was charged Wednesday with murder, armed violence, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and drug possession. The shooter fired a semi-automatic handgun with a 30-round magazine seven times while suited up in body armor, and has an extensive criminal record dating back to 1996.

According to police, Legghette has also been previously charged with heroin possession, armed robbery, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, and unlawful use of body armor, among other crimes.

Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson spoke to ABC 7 Chicago Wednesday about the recently paroled Legghette, who has spent at least 16 years in prison for robbery.

“…some individuals just do not play by society’s rules. He was one of them,” Johnson said.

“Shouldn’t be out there. Ever. Ever again.”

The station adds that Bauer was revered in the 18th District for being “accessible and open to meeting with everyone.” He hosted a monthly “Coffee with a Commander” chat with the community at a local café, which was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, the day after his fatal shooting.

Bauer had publicly expressed his frustration about the city’s high rate of violent crime by repeat offenders like Legghette, the Chicago Tribune noted.

“We’re not talking about the guy who stole a loaf of bread from the store to feed his family,” he told the Loop North News in November.

“We’re talking about career robbers, burglars, drug dealers. These are all crimes against the community. They need to be off the street.”

On Tuesday just before 2 p.m., Legghette ran from a tactical team attempting to question him on his knowledge of a prior shooting, according to the Chicago Tribune’s account of events.

An office reportedly said over police radio, “Don’t anybody get hurt. We just wanted to do a street stop on him.”

Bauer was nearby at the time, and spotted a man matching the description he heard over the radio. He approached the suspect, who shot the officer multiple times.

The tactical team apprehended Legghette immediately thereafter.

Bauer was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries.


[Feature image: Chicago Police Department/Cmdr. Paul Bauer]