A Chicago police commander attending an "active shooter" training session became the highest-ranking officer killed in the city in decades when he was shot after confronting a suspect Tuesday afternoon. Police officials and other sources tell the Chicago Tribune that Cmdr. Paul Bauer was fatally shot near a government building in the city's downtown Loop area after struggling with a man who had been fleeing tactical officers. The 53-year-old encountered the suspect after hearing an alert on his radio. Bauer, who leaves a wife and a 13-year-old daughter, is the first Chicago police officer to be fatally shot since 2011 and the 12th American law enforcement officer gunned down this year, CNN reports.
Police say a 44-year-old suspect is in custody and a weapon was recovered, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The suspect is a felon with an arrest record going back to at least 1998, when he was sentenced to 16 years for armed robbery. Police say the man, who hasn't been charged in Bauer's death yet, was wearing body armor when he was arrested. Bauer, a 31-year veteran of the force, was the commander of Chicago's Near North District, also known as the 18th District. "He was the best police commander in the 18th District during the 20 years I lived there," said Alderman Brian Hopkins. "He loved the job. He had a passion for the job. He was a good man. We lost one of the best today. It’s devastating." (On Saturday, two officers were killed in Ohio after responding to a 911 hang-up call.)