An off-duty Chicago police officer died over the weekend in an apparent suicide, the latest in a grim tally of officers.
The 47-year-old officer was found unresponsive in a parked vehicle Saturday evening near his home in the Ashburn neighborhood on the city’s Southwest Side. He was later pronounced dead at 7:32 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Autopsy results were pending a police investigation, the medical examiner said Sunday.
Chicago police confirmed the officer’s death in a brief statement on Sunday. “The Chicago Police Department experienced the heartbreaking loss yesterday of an off-duty officer to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” police said.
“We ask that the people of Chicago lift up the family and loved ones of this officer in support. Please also pray for the men and women of CPD as we mourn this tragedy together.”
In recent years, Chicago police leaders have struggled to deal with well over a dozen officers suicides since 2018, according to records and city officials.
Those who support law enforcement have pointed toward rising crime, staffing shortages, increased overtime, low morale and stress as aggravating factors in officer deaths. Last summer, police found at least 1,000 officers had worked 11 or more consecutive days during the spring.