A female Chicago police officer who had just returned from maternity leave was fatally shot during an armed confrontation with three suspects.
29-year-old Ella French just gave birth to her daughter two months ago.
She and her partner, who was left seriously wounded, were both shot after a car carrying the suspects had been pulled over on the city’s South Side, said Chicago police first deputy superintendent Eric Carter at a news conference.
The two officers then returned fire, leaving one of the suspects wounded. The two others were taken into custody but the third, a woman, managed to escape.
It was in 2018 when French joined the force. She was also a member of the community safety team, a citywide unit that responds to crime hotspots.
Dozens of police officers gathered outside the University of Chicago Medical Center to pay their respects to French and her colleague, who was left ‘fighting for his very life.’
Carter asked Chicagoans to pray for officers as they risk their lives every day.
“They go out here and do their jobs thanklessly,” he expressed.
“They do it without asking for anything. They do it because it’s something that’s a higher calling for them. And they do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
Speaking outside the hospital, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said: “The officer who succumbed to her injuries was very young on the job, but incredibly enthusiastic to do the work.”
She also encouraged people to never forget the sacrifices police officers make.
“This is a very tragic and sad day for our city, and pray for officers the men and women of this department.”
“They deserve our prayers every single day that they can return home safely to their families, unfortunately that didn’t happen tonight,” the mayor added.
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