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Police commander shot dead at Chicago government building

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Chicago (AFP) – A high-ranking Chicago police officer was shot dead Tuesday in a downtown government building after engaging in a firefight with a man who had been acting suspiciously, authorities said.

Commander Paul Bauer, 53, was struck multiple times and died from his wounds at a hospital.

The suspect, who was not identified, was arrested and a weapon was recovered, police chief Eddie Johnson said.

“It’s a difficult day for us,” Johnson told a news conference, fighting back tears.

Patrol officers had approached a man in the street Tuesday afternoon who was described as acting suspiciously. The man physically fought with the officers and fled, according to Johnson.

Bauer, a 31-year department veteran who heard a description of the suspect over police radio, was nearby.

“He observed the offender,” Johnson said. “An armed physical confrontation ensued.”

The shooting occurred on the lowest floor of the Thompson Center, a busy state government building where dozens of agencies are located.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and colleagues of the officer tragically lost in a shooting at the Thompson Center today,” Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said on Twitter.

Added Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “(Bauer’s) death is a tragic reminder of the dangerous duty the men and women of our police department accept to ensure the safety of us all.”

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