A capturing that killed a Chicago police officer in front of youngsters playing at an elementary school in Gage Park left them bouncing behind slides and anything they may discover, in response to witnesses Jump.

“There had been quite a bit of kids as a result of it occurred earlier than school,” mentioned one lady who known as 911. “They went there to play. We thought it was protected there, so we simply went and allow them to play there. But issues have modified now.”

Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso, 32, was shot a number of instances whereas pursuing an armed suspect in the 5200 block of South Spaulding Avenue throughout from Sawyer Elementary School at round 4:45 pm Wednesday.

The lady mentioned her 10-year-old sister was playing with different youngsters once they noticed the suspect — recognized by police as Steven Montano, 18 — holster the fuel with a gun Quez’s lasso. When the lady known as her household, she and different youngsters heard gunshots and “ran to security as quick as they may,” the lady mentioned.

“I’m saddened to lose this officer’s household, his colleagues and associates,” mentioned the lady, who requested to not be named as a result of of issues for her security. “But I’m glad they had been there to guard my sister and her associates.”

Despite his accidents, Vasquez-Lasso was in a position to return hearth and hit Montano in the top, in response to police. Montano was taken to Strogg Hospital in important situation.

Late Thursday, police introduced he was charged with felony counts of first-degree homicide and aggravated disposal of a firearm close to a school, in addition to misdemeanor prices of easy assault and disrupting a home violence report.

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Vasquez-Lasso was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center, the place he died, the place a somber crowd of officers gathered to pay their respects the night time earlier than his physique was despatched to the Cook County mortuary on the west facet.

Maria Davila mentioned she was at dwelling watching a film on her cellphone when the capturing occurred. It was good exterior and the kids had been hanging out at the campus throughout the road. Dávila, 44, mentioned she heard a loud bang and “thought it was fireworks at first”.

She went to the window and noticed Montano clutching his chest and screaming in a parking zone subsequent to the playground, and one other man — Vasquez Lasso — mendacity nearer to the playground, like a statue.

“Shoot me, shoot me,” she mentioned, as Montano yelled at a second officer standing between him and Vasquez-Lasso.

Behind them, a number of youngsters conceal in a large number of blue slides and yellow plaques adorned with fish. “They had been there for nearly 20 minutes, watching what occurred,” Davila mentioned.

By the time she got here down the steps, officers had taken Vasquez-Lasso to a police van, the place they had been trying to carry out CPR. His physique appeared limp.

“We’re nonetheless scared,” Davila mentioned Thursday. “It was shifting to see that.”


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