CHICAGO, Illinois - Two Chicago police officers were killed Monday after being struck by a metro train, authorities said.
Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo were responding to a shots fired call on the city's South Side when a passing train hit them, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters.
The officers were searching an area near train tracks at 103rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue when they were struck, Johnson said. The train had been traveling at 60 mph to 70 mph, he said.
"While doing the most dangerous thing any police officer can do, and that is to chase an individual with a gun, these brave young men were consumed with identifying a potential threat to their community and put the safety of others above their own," Johnson said.
A suspect was ultimately taken into custody and a gun was recovered, Johnson said.
Gary, 31, had been on the force 18 months. Marmolejo, 37, joined the department 2 1/2 years ago, Johnson said.
The men, both fathers, lost their lives just a week before Christmas.
"This holiday will never be the same for those two families," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "And while our hearts are with them, we lost people who answered the call to make Chicago a better place. We go about our lives not thinking twice and we can do that because of the men and women in the Chicago police department."
Johnson asked Chicago to pray for the families of the officers, and for the men and women of the officers' 5th district, "who, even tonight, would stop at nothing to safeguard their community," he said.
"This has been an immensely difficult year for the Chicago police department," Johnson said, "And especially for the men and women of the 5th district where they have faced tragedy after tragedy this year."