Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer Was Supportive of Community; Effective, Respected Leader

CPD Commander Paul Bauer

The man suspected of killing Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer Tuesday February 13, 2018 in the Thompson Center has an extensive felony record. The suspect has a criminal history including armed robbery conviction, according to court records and police sources. Multiple media accounts report the suspect was wearing body armor or a bullet proof vest when he was attempting to elude police.

Paul Bauer, the commander of the Near North District — the 18th District — was shot multiple times at about 2:00 p.m. after a foot pursuit began with CPD tactical officers about 1:45 p.m.

Just before the shooting of Commander Paul Bauer, Central District tactical officers had spotted a suspicious man near State Street and Wacker Drive, according to CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

The suspicious male ran when the officers tried to do a “street stop” to interview him. He was wearing a long black coat with a fur collar. Police were also reported to be in the area investigating an attempted robbery at a nearby Starbucks, but it’s not confirmed whether the two incidents are connected. Police were also investigating a recent shooting in the area.

Commander Bauer, 53, was near the Thompson Center when he heard, via his police radio, that tactical officers had announced a description of the fleeing, suspicious suspect.

The commander encountered the offender and an armed confrontation occurred. Police called out a 10-1 after Commander Bauer was shot. A 10-1 brings a large police response for police or firefighters in potential or actual danger. “We have an off-duty shot,” was transmitted by police on the scene.

The 44-year-old suspected shooter was in custody immediately, and the weapon was recovered, according to Johnson.

The suspect’s criminal history includes a felony record going back to 1998, following arrest and conviction for armed robbery.

In 2007, the suspect was charged with being a felon in possession of body armor, possession of a defaced firearm and possession of heroin.

In 2011, today’s suspect was charged with resisting an officer and battery. He was convicted of the battery charged and sentenced to 30 days of community service.

In 2014, today’s suspect was convicted of drug possession.

Before he was shot, Commander Bauer was on his way to a meeting with Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) at a City Hall conference room. Both alderman were waiting to meet with Bauer to discuss expanding cooperation between the Near North District and Northwestern University police. While waiting, they learned he was shot.

Prior to today’s fatal shooting, the last Chicago Police officer shot and killed while on or off duty was Officer Clifton Lewis in 2011. Dept. Supt. James Riordan was the last high-ranking CPD member to suffer a fatal shooting. Riordan was also off duty when he was killed in 1981. At least 24 Chicago police officers, including Commander Bauer, have been killed in the line of duty since 1998.

In addition to working since 2016 as commander at the 18th District, also known as the Near North District, Bauer was previously assigned as commander of the Chicago Police Department’s mounted patrol unit.

Bauer was in charge of the mounted unit in 2013 when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Officers on horses also kept peace on the streets during recent successful Cubs seasons in Wrigleyville under the leadership of Commander Bauer. Police performance at celebrations for both sports teams were rated high with praise for minimal property damage and minimal crowd disorder.

Commander Bauer lived in the Bridgeport neighborhood with his wife and 13-year-old daughter.

CPD Commander Paul BauerCPD Commander Paul Bauer.

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ABC 7 Chicago breaking news that a Chicago police officer died after he was known shot Tuesday afternoon at the Thompson Center.

The Chicago Fire Department and fellow police officers have accompanied slain Police Cmdr Paul Bauer’s body to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.

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