The suspect charged in the fatal shooting of Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer is a career criminal and ex-convict who should never be allowed outside prison bars again, the city’s top police official said Wednesday.
Shomari Legghette, 44, was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated use of a weapon and drug possession. He has prior convictions for armed robbery and multiple arrests for drugs.
“It has been an excruciating and emotional 24 hours,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a news conference announcing the charges. “Our hearts still hurt and our souls are still spinning.”
Cmdr. Bauer was the “best of the good guys,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.
In contrast, Johnson said, Legghette was one of “those guys who doesn’t play be society’s rules” and should never again be released.
Legghette was carrying a semi-automatic handgun with a 30-round magazine, and was wearing body armor. He allegedly shot Bauer at least four times in the head.
Sources say he also was carrying multiple bags of heroin, crack cocaine, and marijuana at the time he was arrested.
Bauer confronted Legghette at the Thompson Center around 2 p.m. on Tuesday after chasing him down Clark Street. Legghette was running from tactical officers who had stopped him for questioning near the Renaissance Hotel near State and Lake. Bauer heard about the pursuit on his police radio and was attempting to stop Legghette when he was shot.
The pursuit was captured on tape from a nearby taxi. As the two ran in front of the cab, the driver got out and captured more video.
Bauer and Legghette engaged in a struggle, and they fell down a flight of stairs at the Thompson Center. At that point, several shots, up to seven of them, were fired and Bauer was mortally wounded.
Legghette was arrested moments later as he tried to escape.
Police and court records show Legghette has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1994, including at least five convictions.
• In January 2015, he pleaded guilty to drug possession charges, and was sentenced to 2 years in prison.
• In October 2011, he was convicted of a battery charge, and was sentenced to a year of probation and 30 days community service; he was cleared of a second battery charge and two counts of resisting an officer.
• In October 2009, he pleaded guilty to a gun charge from 2007, and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. A charge of being a felon in possession of body armor and a drug charge were dropped in that case.
• In 1998, he was convicted of armed robbery, and sentenced to 16 years in prison. In that case, the man wore body armor while committing a robbery in Forest Park, sources said.
• In 1996, he was convicted of a drug charge, and sentenced to a year of probation.
• He also had a drug possession case dropped in 2009; four other criminal charges against him in two separate cases were dropped in 1994.