Chicago officer shot ‘multiple times,’ killed while pursuing armed domestic violence suspect
Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, who had five years on the job, came from a family of public servants
Duty Death: Andres Vasquez-Lasso - [Chicago]
End of Service: 01/03/2023
By Rosemary Sobol and Shanzeh Ahmad
CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer who was badly wounded during a shootout with a gunman Wednesday evening on the Southwest Side succumbed to his injuries, officials said.
He was identified Thursday morning as Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso, 32, of the Marquette Park neighborhood, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Chicago police Superintendent David Brown told reporters outside Mount Sinai Hospital that the officer, who was shot “multiple times,” had died. Brown did not identify the officer or give his age at the time.
Initially, the officer was listed in “very critical” condition, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.
Police were responding to a domestic-related call of a man with a gun in the 5200 block of South Spaulding Avenue around 4:45 p.m. and the suspect was chasing a woman down the street with a gun, Brown said.
One of two pairs of responding officers “engaged” with the suspect, who ran away from the officers. That’s when police began pursuing the suspect, and shots were exchanged “at close range” between the suspect and the deceased officer, Brown said.
“They all knew it was an offender with a gun,” Brown said. “They were there to protect this victim, and they were willing to put their lives on the line to protect this person.”
The suspect, an 18-year-old man, was taken to Stroger Hospital, with a gunshot wound to the upper body. Brown said no other responding officers used their weapon during the shootout.
“It happened so fast,” Brown said. “Other officers heard shots and at that point in time began to render aid and get help for this officer for a chance to survive.”
The officer had “five years on this department,” Brown said, and “had a bright future ahead of him.” He came from a family of public servants, some of whom reside in other parts of the world, Brown said.
The suspect does not have “much of a criminal history,” Brown said.
As of about 7:45 p.m. several Chicago police officers had gathered outside the Cook County medical examiner’s office, in anticipation of a procession, which brought the officer’s body from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office shortly after 9 p.m.
Earlier, an officer could be heard screaming to a 911 dispatcher after a call of shots fired on the block came over to the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
”10-1! 10-1, officer down, officer down! ... I need an ambo, get an ambo — officer down!”
Officer Michelle Tannehill, a spokesperson for Chicago police, said public information officers were on the scene. Additionally, representatives from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability were also there, confirming at least one officer discharged their gun.
As of about 6:45 p.m., a portion of the street was blocked off with red police tape at West 51st Street.
Traffic on 51st was slow as motorists crawled through the intersection to take a look at the crime scene.
Some nearby residents were seen hanging around in front of houses, while others saw the commotion while on their way home and quickly made their way inside. Others also stood across the intersection, watching everything unfold.
The shooting came on the heels of Brown announcing that he is resigning this month.
The officer’s death was the first since Aug. 7, 2021, when Chicago police Officer Ella French, 29, was shot and killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop in the West Englewood neighborhood. French was the first Chicago police officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty since Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office in 2019.
Two brothers were charged in connection with French’s murder: Emonte Morgan, then-21, was charged with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and other charges. His brother, Eric Morgan, then-22, was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon as well as one count of obstructing justice. They are both awaiting trial.
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