By Evelyn Holmes and Maher Kawash
August 9, 2021
CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago continues to mourn 29-year-old Officer Ella French who was killed during a traffic stop in West Englewood Saturday night while her partner remains in the hospital after being shot.
Flags across the city are flying at half staff. The 29 year old also being remembered with the raising of this purple and black mourning flag.
First reponders showed their support with another group of firefighters bringing a few boxes of donuts to Area One Monday for officers.
Police said two suspects are being questioned by police and a third is in stable condition at Christ Hospital.
Police said the three suspects were being pulled over in a routine traffic stop Saturday night near 63rd Street and Bell Avenue in West Englewood. That’s when police said they exchanged gunfire with the community safety officers, including Officer French.
French joined the Chicago Police Department in 2018 after previously working with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.
Police Officer Ella French
End of Watch: August 7, 2021
We will #NeverForget the true bravery she exemplified as she laid her life down to protect others.
Please hold her family, loved ones and fellow Chicago Police officers in your thoughts as we grieve the loss of this hero. pic.twitter.com/kEUlNTv0Z4
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) August 8, 2021
French also assisted in the Chicago police raid of Anjanette Young. Young recently filed a lawsuit against the city and Chicago police officers who wrongly raided her home in 2019.
French is the first female Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty since 1988. This is also the first time a CPD officer has died in the line of duty since Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office.
“A mother lost her daughter last night,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “A brother, his sister. A family, forever shattered. Another continues to keep vigil at a hospital bed, sending up powerful prayers but no doubt fearing the worst.”
Officer French’s brother also shedding some more light on who his sister was. in a statement to the Chicago Tribune, he said, “She’s my sister, she’s my little sister. And as much as I was there for her when we were growing up, she was there for me. And I was proud of her, I’m still proud of her…God took the wrong kid.”
Meanwhile, family remains at the bedside of Officer French’s partner as he continues to fight for his life.
The officer, who remains in the ICU, has been on the job since August 2014. Friends say he is 39 years old and married with a young son.
Sources tell the I-Team that the wounded officer has three gunshot wounds: One exited an eye, one lodged in the back of the head and one struck his shoulder.
“I’m asking Chicago to wrap their arms around our police officers today and encourage them to continue their great work in protecting us all,” Superintendent David Brown said.
The pastor at his church had a moment of silence for him during Sunday service adding that he loved the community he served.
“The father, I was telling him, ‘you need to get some rest,'” New Life Community Church Pastor Mark Jobe said. “He said, ‘No, I’m gonna stay here as many days as it takes and not leave my son’s side.'”
He went on to say the officer loved the community where he was shot, “had a real heart for the community, for the people.”
“It wasn’t a duty where he felt he was stuck in this area. He really loved that place and has an amazing wife and a little boy,” Jobe said.
Police said the officers were conducting a traffic stop with a third officer on South Bell, during which shots were fired by both those in the vehicle and CPD officers.
Officials said two men and a woman were inside.
At some point, someone inside the SUV shot at the officers, who returned fire, injuring the shooter, police said.
“Preliminarily, we believe the passenger of the vehicle is the offender who fired upon the officer,” Brown said.
Police also recovered a weapon from the scene and said none of the suspects have extensive criminal backgrounds.
Footage from two nearby security cameras shows the scene after the attack, as first responders arrive.
This marks the 27th time a Chicago police officer has been shot at this year and the 11th time an officer has been shot.
Irma Ruiz-Collins understands the loss all too well.
“There’s an immediate sense of dread, of not again, of shock, of sadness,” she said.
Named after her mother, Irma Ruiz-Collins is the daughter of Chicago police Officer Irma Ruiz, who was shot and killed confronting a gunman inside a West Side school in 1988.
Until Saturday, Ruiz was the last female officer to be killed in the line of duty.
“Your daughter was here to serve and protect. And now she’ll be able to do that for you, not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual. And know that many, many people are thinking of you. And we love you and we’re praying for you,” Ruiz-Collins said to the French family.