GAGE PARK — An 18-year-old man was charged with murder Thursday after authorities said he ran from police investigating a domestic violence incident, then shot and killed a 32-year-old officer.
Steven Montano, of the 2500 block of South Lawndale Avenue, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso. He’s also been charged with two gun-related felonies and two misdemeanors in connection with the incident.
The shooting happened around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 5200 block of South Spaulding Avenue in Gage Park, Supt. David Brown said at a news conference Wednesday night outside Mount Sinai Hospital, where officers gathered to mourn Vásquez Lasso.
Vásquez Lasso was among two cars of officers who responded to a 911 call from a woman saying a man with a gun was chasing her down the street, Brown said.
Officers in the first car knocked on the door of a home on that block while officers in the second car, including Vásquez Lasso, chased after an 18-year-old man who had a gun, Brown said.
Officers chased the man, and “at close range, shots were exchanged” between Vásquez Lasso and the man, Brown said.
Vásquez Lasso was shot multiple times, Brown said. He was taken in “extremely critical” condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died, Brown said.
The officers knew the call involved someone with a gun, Brown said. As officers identified the 18-year-old as the suspect, he turned “and immediately without warning or notice” shot Vásquez Lasso, who fired back, hitting the 18-year-old in his head, Brown said. No other officers fired their weapons, Brown said.
“They were there to protect this victim,” Brown said. “They were willing to put their lives on the line to protect this victim.”
The 18-year-old was hospitalized in critical condition, Brown said.
The shooting occurred near an elementary school, forcing kids to run for cover, witnesses told the Sun-Times.
Vásquez Lasso had five years on the force and “had a bright future ahead of him,” Brown said. The Sun-Times reported he was married and had a young daughter.
“I ask that this city cover this officer’s family. This is a family of public servants. As you can imagine, they are taking this tragedy very, very hard,” Brown said. “This is something that no family should have to face.”
The last Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty was Ella French, 29, who was shot in August 2021 during a West Englewood traffic stop. Two brothers have been charged in that shooting.
“Policing is a big family, people who know at some point they may be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice,” Brown said. “But you never wish or hope that it actually happens; and tonight, this tragedy did. There are some broken hearts that will take a long time to grieve, to accept this.”
Officials from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability are investigating the shooting. Investigators are reviewing body cameras, ballistic evidence and other surveillance footage to piece together what happened, Brown said.
A bond hearing for Montano was scheduled for Friday. There were no updates on his condition released Thursday.
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