Chicago policemen hit and killed by train while chasing suspect
A train fatally struck two Chicago police officers who were running after a suspect on train tracks this week.
- The officers had been in the force for less than three years
- A person is in custody and a weapon was recovered
- 43 US police officers were killed in 2018, but police killed 956 suspects
Eduardo Marmolejo, 37, and Conrad Gary, 31, were pursuing a person who had headed toward train tracks and were hit shortly after 6:00pm as the commuter train passed through the area, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.
“There was no stop at that location so the train was probably going somewhere between 60 and 70 and miles per hour [between 90 and 144kph],” Superintendent Johnson said.
He said a person was taken into custody and a weapon was recovered.
Mr Marmolejo had been with the department for two-and-a-half years and Mr Gary for 18 months, Superintendent Johnson said.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city had lost “two young men, both fathers with young families”.
“There are no words that can express the grief, the sense of loss. It just knocks you back on your heels,” he said.
Chicago police use ShotSpotter technology — sensors that monitor for the sound of gunfire and alert police.
The superintendent said the two officers went to the scene on Monday after a ShotSpotter alert went out.
“It just highlights again how dangerous this job can be. I often say that the most dangerous thing a police officer can do is take a weapon off of an armed individual,” Mr Johnson said.
The train that struck the officers was operated by a commuter rail line that links northern Indiana and Chicago, according to media reports.
Almost 1,000 people killed by US police in 2018
In 2002, Chicago police officer Benjamin Perez was fatally struck by a commuter train while conducting surveillance on narcotics activity on the city’s West Side.
Two other Chicago officers besides Mr Marmolejo and Mr Gary were killed in the line of duty this year.
Officer Samuel Jimenez was killed in a shootout last month after he chased a gunman inside a hospital on Chicago’s South Side .
The shooter also killed two other people — his ex-fiancee who was an emergency room doctor and a pharmacy resident — before taking his own life.
And in February, Commander Paul Bauer was fatally shot while pursuing a suspect in the Loop business district.
This however, pales in comparison to the 956 people killed by US police in 2018, according to an annual database compiled by the Washington Post.