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Chicago Police Officer Shot, Suspect Dead: 'We Need To Stop This Madness'

By Alex Nitkin | July 21, 2016 8:56pm | Updated on July 22, 2016 7:52am
 Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson addresses reporters Thursday night.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson addresses reporters Thursday night.
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NBC Chicago

SOUTH LOOP — A man behaving erratically in a park near Soldier Field opened fire on two Chicago Police officers on bikes who tried to question him, hitting one in the leg before officers shot him dead Thursday night, police said.

The wounded officer applied a tourniquet to his own leg after the 8 p.m. Thursday shooting near 18th Street and Calumet Avenue, stemming the bleeding and saving his life, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said late Thursday.

The shooting was "another example of too many guns, too many people willing to use them," Johnson said. "Again, this just illustrates how dangerous it is out here for the officers, and we need all the support that we can get."

"We need to stop this madness," he said.

The man was identified as Derek Love, 50, of the 3300 block of South Giles, by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. Love was pronounced dead at 8:49 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

The officers had responded to a call of a person "acting erratically" near Battle of Fort Dearborn Park at 18th Street and Calumet Avenue,  Johnson said in a media briefing outside Northwestern Memorial Hospital Thursday night. 

When officers approached Love, who was on the phone, and asked him to hang up, he "reached into a backpack, pulled out a weapon and started firing at the officers," Johnson said. 

One officer, a 17-year veteran of the department, was shot in his thigh, Johnson said. 

Multiple officers returned fire, killing Love, he said.

The officer applied a tourniquet to his own leg to stop the bleeding, which saved his life, Johnson said. He was taken by fellow officers to Northwestern and is expected to recover, he said.

A neighbor said he was in his bedroom at about 8:10 p.m. when he heard 20 gunshots and then police sirens and helicopters.

"Tonight the thoughts and prayers of Chicago are with our brave police officer who was shot answering a call as he worked to keep our streets safe," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a news release. "He is an example of the courageous and selfless men and women in the Chicago Police Department who do difficult and dangerous work every day, often with little fanfare."

Emanuel said he and his wife, Amy Rule, "are hopeful for a full and speedy recovery, and our thoughts are with the officer's family, friends, and his fellow brave men and women in uniform."

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