As Chicago police officer Ella French was lying mortally wounded on the ground, her body camera continued to roll and captured the suspect, gun still in his hand, stepping over her and her wounded partner as he fled the scene, according to a prosecutor.
A still image of the footage was obtained by Chicago ABC station WLS along with another chilling image of French in the last moments of her life standing at the driver’s side door of a car she and her two partners had pulled over just before shots rang out, police and prosecutors said.
French, 29, is the first Chicago police officer since 2018 killed in the line of duty and the city’s first female officer killed in the line of duty since 1988, officials said.
In the first seven months of 2021, 44 law enforcement officers nationwide were feloniously killed in the line of duty, a 41.9% increase from the same period in 2020, according to preliminary FBI data.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced on Tuesday the arrests of Monty Morgan, 21, and his brother, Eric Morgan, 19, in the slaying of French, who joined the police department in 2018 after previously working for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
“This is the first step toward justice as we work to honor one fallen officer and her partner,” Brown said at a news conference.
Brown identified Monty Morgan as the alleged gunman who opened fire on French and her 39-year-old partner, who remains in critical condition with multiple bullet wounds, including one to the eye that lodge in his brain, according to court records filed in the case.
Monty Morgan has been charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one count of aggravated use of a weapon by a felon.
Eric Morgan, who police said was driving the car French and her partners stopped, was charged with one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one count of obstruction of justice.
It was unclear if the Morgan brothers have attorneys. Eric Morgan made his first court appearance on Tuesday, while his brother, who was shot and wounded by police before being taken into custody, remains in a hospital, police said.
Brown also said the gun used in the shooting was traced to an Indiana straw buyer, who allegedly used false information on a federal form to purchase the weapon from a licensed gun dealer in Hammond, Indiana, on behalf of Eric Morgan.
The announcement came about a month after Brown assembled a team of 50 officers to target gun traffickers, straw buyers, unscrupulous licensed firearms dealers and anyone who facilitates the flow of illegal guns into the city of Chicago.
John Lausch Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, identified Jamel Danzy, 29, of Hammond, Indiana, as the alleged straw buyer of the gun used to kill French.
Danzy was charged with conspiracy to violate federal firearm laws, including knowingly transferring and giving a firearm to an out-of-state resident, knowingly making a false written statement to acquire a firearm and knowingly disposing of a firearm to a convicted felon.
“Straw purchasers and firearm traffickers enable violence with deadly consequences,” Lausch said in a statement. “Fighting violent crime is a top priority in our office, and we are committed to holding accountable those who engage in illicit firearm transactions.”
Danzy appeared in federal court in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon. It was unclear if he has retained a lawyer or is awaiting one to be appointed to him by the court.
The shooting unfolded in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood, where French and two other Chicago police officers assigned to the department’s Community…