Man Who Killed Chicago Cop Was Freed by Prosecutors without Charge in Earlier Shooting

A Chicago police officer was killed in the line of duty Wednesday night.

The officer has been identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as Andres Vasquez Lasso, 32.

He was shot and killed on Chicago’s Southwest Side in an exchange of gunfire.

The suspect who killed the cop was accused of chasing a woman down the street with a gun.

During the gunfire, the suspect was also shot in the head and is in critical condition.

The Chicago Police Department said on social media: “Police Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso End of Watch: March 1, 2023.

“He died while protecting Chicago and its people.

“We will #NeverForget his selflessness and dedication as we continue to wrap our arms around his family and loved ones.

“Together, we mourn the loss of our hero.”

Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas said: “The courageous men and women of the Chicago police department have suffered another tragic loss of one of their own to the ultimate sacrifice of protecting our communities.

“My heartfelt thoughts are with the officer’s loved ones and the entire CPD family who are grieving during this difficult time.”

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Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson said:  “This is a sad and sorrowful day for our city, and my heart goes out to the family, friends, and colleagues of the Chicago police officer whose life was taken in the line of duty in Gage Park this afternoon.

“I am praying for healing for all those close as we await further details on this tragedy.”

However, it has now emerged that the suspect had been previously arrested for a prior shooting but prosecutors let him go without charge.

According to CWB Chicago, he was involved in an earlier shooting:

CWB Chicago has learned that the 18-year-old was arrested last summer after police said he and two other people ran from a car that had just been used in a shooting.

The Cook County state’s attorney’s office rejected felony charges against him but approved charges against the other two people.

Last summer, witnesses to a shooting in Little Village told police that a white Honda with three Hispanic male occupants pulled up next to the victim and began shooting, prosecutors said during bail hearings for the 18-year-old and the driver last year. 

The victim, a 29-year-old man, was shot twice in the leg.

A Chicago police homicide support team that responded to the shooting saw a stolen car matching the shooters’ vehicle running stop signs and red lights while being driven by a man wearing a ski mask, the prosecutors said.

When the car stopped, three people allegedly ran from it: the 18-year-old involved in Wednesday’s shooting, a 15-year-old boy, and a 22-year-old man.

Police arrested the two adults on opposite sides of the same street a short time later.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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