After a Chicago police officer was shot dead during a traffic stop over the weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed guns, calling them “a common enemy.”
Ella French, 29, and her partner stopped a vehicle carrying two men and a woman on the city’s South Side around 9 p.m. Saturday when one of the male passengers opened fire, according to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown.
CBS News reported that a source said the gunman shot the two officers from the backseat of the car. The officers returned fire, injuring the gunman. All three passengers were taken into custody but no charges have been filed, Brown said.
Hours after the deadly shooting, Lightfoot extended her condolences, tweeting, “Today is an official day of mourning for the city. We lost a young officer. I offer my condolences to her mother, brother, family and friends,” Lightfoot tweeted. “Please keep this officer, the officer in the hospital and CPD in your prayers.”
Shortly after, Lightfoot tweeted again, blaming “guns & the violence they bring.”
“Some say we don’t do enough for the police. Others say we do too much. All of this must stop,” the mayor continued. “We have a common enemy: it’s guns & the violence they bring.”
“Police Officer Ella French. End of Watch: August 7, 2021. We will #NeverForget the true bravery she exemplified as she laid her life down to protect others,” the Chicago Police Department tweeted. “Please hold her family, loved ones and fellow Chicago Police officers in your thoughts as we grieve the loss of this hero.”
“Please also pray for her wounded partner, who is in the hospital fighting for his life,” the department added. “We’re asking for everyone to lift up this officer and his family as we pray for his recovery.”
Overnight, a massive gathering of officers congregated outside the hospital where French’s partner was taken in critical condition. During the gathering, Lightfoot told reporters that French “was very young on the job, but incredibly enthusiastic to do the work.”
Chicago police shared images of the crowd of officers, including some who were praying. “CPD will #NeverForget – RIP!” the department tweeted.
According to CBS, the young officer’s death is the first fatal shooting of a Chicago police officer on the job since 2018. French is also the first woman officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty in 33 years.
The most recent fatal shooting of an officer in the line of duty was Samuel Jimenez, 28, who was killed while responding to a hospital shooting on November 19, 2018.