Suspect in Chicago police death charged with murder

CHICAGO (AP) — A man with a long criminal history that includes a conviction for armed robbery has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a Chicago police commander, authorities announced Wednesday afternoon.

Shomari Legghette, 44, was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, armed violence and possession of narcotics after police discovered he was carrying heroin, crack cocaine and marijuana.

At an emotional news conference Wednesday, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson talked about both the suspect who was carrying a semi-automatic handgun with a 30-round magazine, and wearing body armor under a heavy black jacket, and the man he’s accused of killing Tuesday afternoon, Cmdr. Paul Bauer.

“When Paul heard the radio call, he didn’t turn the other way to let someone else worry about it,” said Johnson. “He didn’t worry about his rank or the fact that he wasn’t in his own district. He just ran towards where he was needed without hesitation.”

On Wednesday, police said the 53-year-old Bauer, wearing his police uniform, was in his car after having lunch near the James R. Thompson Center, a downtown government building, when he heard the call. Tactical officers had approached Legghette in an area where there had been reports of drug sales but before they reached him, Legghette ran away.

Bauer, a 31-year department veteran, jumped from his car and ran after Legghette, who matched the description that he heard on his radio. Police said Bauer chased Legghette to the top of a stairwell, where the two fought, before Legghette grabbed him and the two of them fell down the stairwell.

Area Central Detectives Commander Brendan Deenihan said witnesses said — and an audio recording from a nearby taxi confirmed — that seven shots were fired at the bottom of the stairwell. All the shots, said Deenihan, came from the gun that Legghette was carrying and officers later recovered. He said Bauer did not draw his weapon.

Police officers arrested Legghette…

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