Felon charged with 1st-degree murder for killing Chicago police commander

PHOTO: Chicago Police Commander Paul R. Bauer is seen in this undated police handout.PlayChicago Police Department/EPA via Shutterstock
WATCH Chicago police commander fatally shot on duty

A convicted felon has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer.

Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly Foxx approved felony charges for suspect Shomari Legghette, including first-degree murder and armed violence. Legghette is in custody and expected to appear in bond court Thursday.

"Some people don't deserve to walk the streets of Chicago," Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said. "He shouldn't be out there ever, ever again."

Police said they were on a regular narcotics patrol in the area when they spotted Legghette in the area. He was known to engage in narcotics activity and police said they approached him to talk. He immediately fled on foot which was called out by the officers over the police radio.

Bauer was sitting in his squad car nearby after completing a training session and minutes before he was due to head to a meeting at City Hall. He heard the call over the radio and pursued the suspect on foot into a stairwell at Chicago's Thompson Center, according to police.

Police said surveillance video captured a struggle between the two inside the stairwell with the suspect pulling Bauer down the stairs. After they fell down the stairs, seven gunshots could be heard on video police obtained from the scene.

Some footage was captured by a cab driver who saw Bauer chasing Legghette on foot across the street into the Thompson Center. His cab was equipped with outward-facing video and audio, which recorded the pair. The driver pulled over and started recording video on his cellphone camera and captured the moment officers recovered the murder weapon and realized the suspect was wearing body armor.

Police said the cab driver's video played a key role in building the case against Legghette.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was visibly emotional while discussing Bauer's wife, Erin, and daughter, Grace, saying, "Erin and Grace, we love you, the Bauer family, the family of CPD, 2.8 million Chicagoans, we are holding you in our hearts. We will see to it that Paul's legacy of decency and duty lives on."

Chicago cop's son shot dead on visit home from colle In November, months before his death, Bauer said he wanted to see more career criminals "off the street," local news outlet Loop North News reported at the time. “You can say, we don’t know if that’s going to reduce recidivism," Bauer said, speaking at a River North Residents Association meeting. "This is how I look at it, I want them off the street. We’re not talking about the guy that stole a loaf of bread from the store to feed his family. We’re talking about career robbers, burglars, drug dealers. These are all crimes against the community. They need to be off the street.”