CHICAGO (WLS) —
An officer shot while assisting a tactical team at a state government office building downtown has died.
Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the off-duty officer was shot around 2 p.m. Tuesday at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph. The officer was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The victim was found in a stairwell. The I-Team has learned the officer was shot twice in the head. He was initially taken to the hospital in a “code red” critical condition.
Gugliemi said on Twitter the officer was shot by “an assailant.” The I-Team has also learned that the officer shot is a high-ranking district commander. According to police radio transmissions, the officer may have been trying to stop a suspect on the street in connection with a shooting that took place in the Loop Saturday, when the suspect ran.
Supt. Eddie Johnson has identified the officer as Paul Bauer, a commander in the 18th District. Bauer was a member of the mounted patrol and was promoted to commander in 2015.
The Thompson Center, also known as the State of Illinois Building, is an atrium-style governmental building with commercial businesses on the first floor and a food court on the lower level.
“They took the perp into custody very fast,” one witness, who was in the lower-level food court, said.
Another witness said she heard two men yelling at each other and that they began to fight over something and fell down the stairs. She said she could not tell if either was an officer. She said the fight initiated just outside the building near a set of emergency exit stairs.
It is believed the suspect is in custody.
Another witness said she saw a gurney coming up the stairs and saw paramedics performing chest compressions until the victim was taken into the ambulance.
“It did not look promising,” the witness said.
Several witnesses reported hearing up to five or six gunshots. Officers were seen outside the Thompson Center consoling each other after the shooting.
Streets around the Thompson Center, including Randolph, Lake, and Clark, were temporarily closed to traffic. Businesses with exterior entrances were still open, and employees who work in the building were allowed back in after a partial evacuation to retrieve their things. Businesses on the interior of the building and the post office were all still closed as of 3 p.m. The north side of the Thompson Center where the Clark-Lake Blue Line station is located reopened around 4 p.m. The south side lobby was still…