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Chicago police officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, 32, dies after shooting in Gage Park

Gage Park Shooting: Chicago police officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, 32, killed
Gage Park Shooting: Chicago police officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, 32, killed 03:31

CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago police officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, 32, was killed in a shooting in the Gage Park neighborhood late Wednesday afternoon following a call about a domestic incident.

Chicago Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's office released Vasquez-Lasso's name Thursday morning.

Chicago Police Department

CPD Supt. David Brown said at a news conference with Mayor Lori Lightfoot late Wednesday that two separate squad cars responded to a call about a man with a gun chasing a woman in the 5200 block of South Spaulding Avenue. Brown said the officer began pursuing the suspect, an 18-year-old man, who police knew had a gun.

Brown said the suspect shot the officer, who returned fire, striking each other at very close range. The officer was shot in the face and leg.

It all happened inside the fence of an elementary school parking lot while kids were playing nearby.     

The officer was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he died from his injuries. Brown said the officer was part of CPD for five years and had a "bright future ahead of him." 

We have learned Vasquez-Lasso was married, and his wife was at Mount Sinai earlier.

Brown emphasized how the officer went to pursue the suspect while knowing they had a gun.

"They were willing to put their lives on the line to protect this victim," Brown said. "They're there, they know this is the offender with the gun, and unfortunately as they identify him, he turns immediately – he immediately, without warning or notice, shoots at the officer."

Chicago Police officer dies after being shot while responding to domestic incident 11:25

Brown said the 18-year-old suspect was shot in the head. He is in critical condition, but was alive as of Thursday night. 

The suspect, Steven Montano of Little Village, was charged Thursday night with one felony count each of first-degree murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and aggravated discharge of a firearm near a school – as well as misdemeanor counts of interfering with reporting domestic violence and simple assault.

Brown added no other officers used their firearms.

The shooting is under active investigation and will be turned over to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, Brown said.

"I want to remind people that every single day, on every shift, officers run to danger for our safety," Mayor Lightfoot said at the news conference. "If you see an officer tonight, or the next day, or the day after that, thank them for their service."

A witness at the scene in Gage Park reported hearing three or four large bangs and saw officers running to the scene where an officer was lying by a playground.

"I saw families running down across the street to get away from the danger, and I heard loud bangs. I saw a cop holding onto whoever was there, and more cops running in that direction," said the witness, Jose. "They just started running in that direction to whoever was shot. I saw more cops coming passing."

Chicago Police officer gives ultimate sacrifice responding to armed man in Gage Park 03:27

A man walking his dog nearby told CBS 2's Marissa Perlman that police were not allowing people down the street near the scene where the officer was shot. Access to homes was very limited.

The man said he could not believe what had happened. He said he has lived on the Southwest Side for 20 years – and sometimes things have gotten touch and go at certain points in terms of crime, but he never heard of anything in the area like a police officer being shot and killed.

"It's tragic, and it's unfortunate, and it's not something that belongs here in this city," said Christian Marquez. "Sometimes, you don't know what's in your neighborhood."

Maria Dabila lives across the street.

"I see one police on the floor," Dabila said. "I want to help the police, but how?"

Dabila watched from her window. She said she heard the suspect quarrel with officers.

"He don't get scared or nothing," she said. "He don't get – he don't have any feelings."

Police will be combing through POD and body camera video to try to piece together exactly what happened.

Meanwhile back at Mount Sinai, several police squad cars assembled at and around the hospital along California and Ogden avenues outside the hospital. Hours later, the squad cars made a solemn procession to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office with an ambulance carrying the fallen officer's body.

Police officers and fire fighters gather outside the medical examiner's office on Wednesday night.  Jeff Langan CBS

Hundreds of officers were present as the ambulance arrived at the Medical Examiner's office, 2121 W. Harrison St.

Among those showing his support Wednesday night was fellow Chicago Police Officer Danny Golden. Back in July, Golden was shot while off duty trying to break up a bar fight in Beverly.

Golden was shot in the back – the bullet severing his spine and paralyzing him below the waist. He turned out at the Cook County Medical Examiner's office ahead of the procession Wednesday night.

The tragedy also brought back some difficult memories for many of the last time a Chicago Police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Back in August 2021, Officer Ella French and her partner, Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., were shot during a traffic shop in Englewood.

French was killed and Yanez was seriously hurt. French was just 29 years old.

The two finalists in the 2023 mayoral race, Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas, each issued statements of sorrow and support. Johnson said in a statement:

"This is a sad and sorrowful day for our city, and my heart goes out to the family, friends and colleagues of the Chicago police officer whose life was taken in the line of duty in Gage Park this afternoon. I am praying for healing for all those close as we await further details on this tragedy."

Vallas issued his statement in a tweet:

"The courageous men and women of the @Chicago_Police have suffered another tragic loss of one of their own to the ultimate sacrifice of protecting our communities. My heartfelt thoughts are with the officer's loved ones and the entire CPD family who are grieving during this difficult time.  This is a tragic reminder of what our police officers do each and every day, laying their lives on the line for us. This violence must come to an end."

Jeylú Gutiérrez, who on Tuesday won election as the new alderperson for the 14th Ward, where the shooting happened, issued the following statement:

My deepest condolences go out to the family and colleagues of the fallen Chicago Police officer who lost his life in the line of duty in Gage Park. The bravery and sacrifice of our law enforcement officers are immeasurable, and we are forever grateful for their service. May his family find comfort and strength during this difficult time.   

Other city leaders also showed support. In a statement, Ald. Marty Quinn (13th), whose ward starts a short distance south and west of the scene of the shooting, issued this statement:

"I support our Chicago Police Department 100 percent, and tonight I stand with them as they mourn the loss of one of their own. My thoughts are with the officer's family and our brave officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect our city."

This shooting came about just hours after Mayor Lightfoot's office announced that Supt. Brown will step down later this month for a new job in Texas. Brown will be replaced by First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter on an interim basis until a new mayor is sworn in.

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