CHICAGO (STMW) –A Calumet Park woman was ordered held on $10 million bond Sunday after she was accused of driving a van that plowed into an off-duty Chicago police officer’s car, killing him as he was headed home.
Shanell Terrell, 31, was charged with first-degree murder. Police had been chasing the van she was allegedly driving after noticing it commit several traffic violations — plus the plate on the van didn’t belong to it, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Officer David L. Harris, 42, had just ended his shift and was on his way home when his car was hit by the van in the 8700 block of South Lafayette Avenue just off the Dan Ryan Expressway. Harris was part of a Chicago Police Department “saturation” unit dispatched to high-crime areas on the South Side, was in uniform when emergency crews arrived.
Police said they found marijuana in the van when they arrested Terrell, who has a history of driving without a license and also has been convicted of theft.
“These charges are a measure of justice for Officer Harris, as well as his family, friends and colleagues, though the pain of his loss makes the news bittersweet,” police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Saturday. “On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, I would like to express deepest condolences to the Harris family.”
Before joining the Chicago Police Department, Harris was a Maywood police officer from 1997 to 2003. While a member of the suburban department, Harris helped capture a man suspected of shooting a Bellwood police officer and was involved in a shootout with bank robbers, a police spokesman said.
A lawyer for the village of Calumet Park declined to discuss the pursuit that led to Harris’ death, saying it’s still under investigation. Police sources said the pursuit was called off before the accident but did not provide details.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)