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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago officer is in critical condition and fighting for his life after being shot three times.
The officer was hit in the head, chest and arm. Fellow officers returned fire, critically injuring the shooter.
The officers were attempting to serve a search warrant at approximately 5:30 a.m. Sunday when the gunfire began near 79th Street and Clyde on the city's Southeast Side.
The shooter was taken to Stroger hospital, while the officer was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. He underwent surgery later Sunday.
Family members and friends have identified the shooter as Chicago resident Lamar Cooper. Concerned, they watched the scene outside the home in disbelief Sunday while authorities conducted their investigation.
"I've been in this neighborhood for seven years, and what I'm seeing now, in the last couple of years, it's very, very disturbing," said Sonya Chapman.
Some area residents say gunfire erupted as four members of the Chicago Police Department Narcotics Gang Unit attempted to serve a search warrant on the 7500 block o South Clyde.
"The target arrived on the scene. They [officers] approached him. He opened fire, and the officers returned fire," said police Supt. Jody Weis.
The man remained hospitalized Sunday evening.
Some who know the Chicago resident described him as very involved in the neighborhood and said he might have attacked the officers because he thought he was being robbed.
"Neighbors have been concerned about break-ins because somebody broke into my house twice," Terrell Murray said.
Police officers eventually searched the home and found cash and narcotics.
Many fellow officer flocked to the bedside of their injured colleague Sunday.
"I work with him. I trained him. He's a very good officer. The best. He deserves a lot, not what happened to him today, but he deserves a lot," said Det. Ron Lewis of the Chicago Police Department.
Friends of the wounded officer said doctors were planning a series of tests to determine the best course of action to take next.
WLS
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Another Chicago Officer Killed

A solemn police chaplain stood before more than 100 weary Chicago officers gathered late Sunday in the parking lot of the Cook County morgue and asked them to close their eyes and open their hearts and pray.

The body of Nathaniel Taylor, one of their own, was wheeled toward the doors, led by two officers holding candles. Rev. Tom Nangle spoke: "This is one of those moments the public never sees, the politicians never see and that our families, thank God, never see. This moment is where the beating heart and soul of the Chicago Police Department is on view."

What a brutal end to a day when police held vigil at an Oak Lawn hospital, shedding tears for a brother wounded in an early-morning burst of gunfire.

Taylor, 39, was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Hospital at 6:02 p.m. Sunday, about 12 hours after he was shot while executing a search warrant. He was the second Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty in the last three months.

Cops described Taylor, a 14-year veteran of the police force, as a workhorse who had always dreamed of becoming an officer. People in Taylor's off-duty world said he was a loving father of a young daughter, a man who hosted barbecues in the summer and helped shuttle a child to school when a parent worked the night shift.

In the South Chicago neighborhood where the officer was mortally wounded, residents were baffled by the shooting. The man who police believe shot Taylor, identified by the Independent Police Review Authority as Lamar Cooper, headed up the block's neighborhood watch association, helped rally neighbors to have speed bumps installed on the street and was known for keeping a meticulous lawn.

"We thought he was the good guy in the neighborhood," said Terrell Murray, who lives a few houses away. "We thought he was working for us."

But public records show Cooper, 37, is a felon who has served time in Illinois for attempted murder. Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith said Cooper was last released from prison in December 2004 after a burglary conviction.

Police said Cooper was sitting in a Geo Prism in the 7900 block of South Clyde Avenue about 5:30 a.m. Sunday when four narcotics officers approached. The officers were about to execute a search warrant on Cooper's home. According to Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Bill Dougherty, the officers were wearing jackets with the word "raid" printed on the front and back, clearly identifying them as police.

Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the suspect, while still inside his vehicle, opened fire on the officers. Another officer shot back and critically wounded Cooper, who was taken to Stroger Hospital. Bond said police found packets of drugs stuffed in Cooper's mouth, and investigators later found drugs and guns in the man's residence.

As of late Sunday, Cooper had not been charged.

Police Supt. Jody Weis said Taylor, who was shot in the head and chest, was a member of the department's Narcotics and Gang Investigation Section.

A lone Chicago police car was stationed outside the officer's home late Sunday, and nearby residents spent the day on the phone updating one another on the condition of the man they had known for more than a decade.

"He's going to be missed," said Roosevelt Farmer. "He's sure going to be missed."

Many recalled Taylor's friendly wave and smile and affinity for tossing meat on the grill and inviting folks over. He was working on a master's degree and planned to take the sergeant's exam

"He's like a brother to me," said April Knighten, 18, choking back tears. "My parents are at the hospital. You knew this could happen, but when it does, it's shocking."

Knighten recalled a time when her father was working the night shift and the officer volunteered to drive her to school in the mornings. He recently helped her move into her first apartment.

Deputy Chief of Detectives Al Wysinger was at the hospital Sunday. He said Taylor had always wanted to be a cop, and was a workhorse.

"He was the first guy to set up the surveillance and the last guy there at the end of the night working on paperwork," Wysinger said. "He wasn't afraid, either, to get out on the street."

Our Prayers and Sympathies for the Family of Officer Nathaniel Taylor, Jr.


Officer Nathaniel Taylor, Jr., 39, a 14-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department was pronounced at 6:02 p.m. this evening.
Officer Taylor was assigned to the Gang Intelligence Unit when he was fatally wounded while attempting to execute a search warrant.
We extend our heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathy to the family, friends and co-workers of Officer Taylor.
We pray for the continued safety of all of those who stand guard over this city and its citizens.
Once again, we must mourn the loss of one of our own.
Truly, no words can express the magnitude of loss we feel each time one of us falls.
Be safe. . . above all else. . . be safe.
 

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Re: Another Chicago Officer Killed

RIP Officer Taylor. Your tour is ended and it is time to serve with St Michael and watch over the brethren. May your family and friends know and understand the sacrifice you made is not in vain!

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Suspected cop killer Lamar Cooper may be older and heavier now, but a veteran Chicago Police officer in the South Chicago District still can't forget his face.
That's because Cooper shot at the officer three times in 1990 -- and missed.
The officer did not fire back because he did not have a clear shot and was worried he might hit a bystander.
"His grandmother called me and said, 'Thank you for not killing him,'" recalled the officer, who asked that his name not be printed.
Now Cooper, 37, is a suspect in Sunday's fatal shooting of Officer Nathaniel Taylor Jr., 39, a narcotics investigator. "I can't believe it," the South Chicago District officer said.
The officer, who has worked in South Chicago since 1987, spotted Cooper standing near 79th and Paxton on July 11, 1990. The officer -- worried about the possibility of violence after a gang funeral in the area that day -- wanted to question Cooper and his pals.
The plainclothes officer approached Cooper and said he was a cop, but Cooper ran. Halfway down an alley, Cooper turned and fired three shots with a .32-caliber revolver.
The officer nabbed Cooper in the 7900 block of South Clyde. That's the same block where Taylor was killed Sunday.
Cooper, convicted of attempted murder for shooting at the officer, served nearly three years behind bars. More recently, Cooper served almost two years for burglary, completing his parole in December.
CHICAGO SUN
 

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Chicago Tribune editorial: Remember a good cop

The Chicago Tribune
Editorial
CHICAGO - Two police officers have been gunned down in the line of duty since July. Two families in mourning. Two more stars enshrined at police headquarters.
When tragedies like these happen, it is easy for people to ignore them. It is easy to say, this is the profession the police officers chose and they knew the dangers. And yes, it's easy to be distracted -- the economy is in deep trouble, the baseball playoffs are under way, a presidential election campaign is peaking, a million errands and obligations beckon.
Set that all aside for a moment to learn something about Nathaniel Taylor Jr. He was killed Sunday morning by a suspect who had served three years in prison for the attempted murder of another Chicago police officer in 1990 -- an attempt that took place in the same neighborhood, and almost the same spot, where Taylor was shot.
Nathaniel Taylor will be buried on Friday. He was 39.
He had a 5-year-old daughter and a legion of friends, inside and outside the department, who describe him as unfailingly generous. He was known as a workhorse and a mentor, a believer in education who was a handful of classes away from an MBA. A 14-year veteran who never shirked a tough assignment.
Taylor racked up commendations and awards and most important, the respect of his peers. He was a good cop, and that is not faint praise.
Taylor, like many cops, divided the world into two camps -- bad guys and good guys. As we learned after his death, he believed his mission was as much to protect the good people in the neighborhoods as to catch those who prey on them. And in Englewood, there's no shortage of good people being preyed upon by criminals.
The suspect in his murder, Lamar Cooper, headed the neighborhood watch association, helped rally neighbors to install speed bumps on the street and was known for keeping a meticulous lawn. But he was also a felon with a hefty rap sheet, last released from prison in December 2004 after a burglary conviction. Police, including Taylor, were about to raid Cooper's home early Sunday when Cooper allegedly opened fire.
He was charged Monday with first-degree murder.
There's no need to exaggerate the dangers facing every cop every day. You can be shot and killed in a struggle with a woman who caused a disturbance with a CTA bus passenger less than a block from a police station, as Officer Richard Francis was in early July. You can be shot and killed in your car while off-duty, as Detective Robert Soto was in August. You can be killed on a drug raid, as Taylor was.
Today comes the ritual of the funeral, the police stars wrapped in black bands, the bunting draped outside the stations, the condolences and the tears.
We'll learn more about Taylor, as a man, a friend, a cop. It is a way to celebrate officers like Taylor who serve with distinction, who served unflinchingly. He -- and all those who close ranks now -- deserve nothing less.

Wire Service
 
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