Police commander shot dead at government building in Chicago

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A high-ranking police officer who was assisting colleagues at a state government office building in downtown Chicago has been shot and killed, officials and witnesses say. The suspected shooter was taken into custody.

The incident began just before 2 p.m. CT on Tuesday when an officer observed someone acting suspicious and walked up to him, which led to a physical confrontation, according to Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. The suspect escaped and a description was put out on the radio.

Johnson said Paul R. Bauer, the commander of the 18th District, heard the call and engaged the suspect in a physical confrontation outside the James R. Thompson Center, which houses offices of the Illinois state government. The suspect then opened fire, striking Bauer multiple times.

Bauer, who was not on duty at the time of the shooting, was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The police commander, who was 53 years old, had worked for the Chicago Police Department for more than 31 years.

The suspected shooter was taken into custody a short time later, witnesses said.

“The hearts of every Chicagoan are heavy as we mourn the loss of Commander Paul Bauer,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “Commander Bauer stood for the highest ideals of our police department and our city – to serve and protect the people of Chicago.”

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