CHICAGO (CBS) — A huge crowd turned out Tuesday night at a vigil for fallen Chicago Police Officer Ella French at the Ogden (10th) District police station in Lawndale.
The father of Officer Carlos Yanez – Officer French’s partner who was shot and critically wounded in the same incident where French was killed – was in attendance at the vigil.
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“A simple traffic stop turned into a tragedy. Yes, us here will never forget Ella or the other officers that come before her, and my son – but the people will, because they don’t feel the pain we feel,” said Carlos Yanez Sr.
Officer Yanez’s father said that deadly ambush happened just 20 minutes after he had spoken to his son. He said his son told him he loved him.
At the vigil, Yanez Sr. shared his son’s long recovery ahead.
“I still did know my son was going to make it. They told me, ‘Doesn’t look good,’” Yanez Sr. said. “He’s got two shots in the head – one in the brain, one in the eye. But he’s still fighting. He’s still trying to live for his son – 3-year-old son – Carlos III.”
Ella French’s brother, Andrew French, shared his giant loss.
“She loved hard and she love this city. She loved everything about it except for the nasty parts that we all know. And she made a point of becoming a police officer to try and change those things,” Andrew French said.
The vigil at the district station, 3315 W. Ogden Ave., was just the latest outpouring of emotion after Officer French’s death in the line of duty a week ago Saturday. French had been assigned to the Ogden District before being redirected to the Community Safety Team, with which she was working when she was shot and killed.
Officers stood and saluted as they showed their support.
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French was killed in a shooting during a traffic stop at 63rd Street and Bell Avenue in West Englewood on Saturday, Aug. 7. Yanez was shot in the eye, and left paralyzed with a bullet lodged in his brain.
A third officer who was with French and Yanez shot one of the two brothers now charged in the shooting.
Emonte Morgan, aka Monte Morgan, is charged with one count of first-degree murder of a peace officer, two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer, one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
His brother, Eric Morgan is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and obstruction of justice; accused of trying to dispose of the murder weapon, before he was detained by a group of civilians not far from the scene of the shooting.
Cook County prosecutors said French, Yanez, and a third officer were on patrol in a marked squad car around 9 p.m. on Aug. 7, when they pulled over Eric and Emonte Morgan while they were in a gray SUV with expired plates near 63rd and Bell.
Prosecutors said Emonte Morgan began struggling with French and Yanez during the traffic stop, while Eric Morgan ran off, and the third officer gave chase.
During the struggle, Emonte Morgan shot French and Yanez in the head, and the third officer halted his chase of Eric Morgan, and ran back to try and help his partners, according to prosecutors.
Emonte Morgan then fired at the third officer, who fell to the ground and returned fire, shooting Morgan in the abdomen.
Prosecutors said Emonte Morgan handed the gun to his brother, who ran off, before he was detained by witnesses who caught him in a nearby yard, where he had dumped the gun.
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French later died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Her wake will be held at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine chapel on Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. That will be followed by a funeral on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. The services follow a number of vigils held in her memory last week.