CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM Newsradio) — A Cook County judge has denied bail for a four-time felon charged with killing Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer outside the Thompson Center earlier this week.
Shomari Legghette’s bond hearing Thursday afternoon was moved to a large ceremonial courtroom at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, and every row of seats was filled, with many people standing on the sides of the room. At least 65 of Bauer’s fellow officers packed the courtroom. Police Supt. Eddie Johnson sat in the second row.
Legghette, 44, was dressed in a Chicago Bears T-shirt as he entered court. Cook County prosecutors said he shot Bauer six times in the head, neck, torso, back and wrist during a scuffle Tuesday afternoon in the Loop.
Cook County Judge Mary Marubio ordered Legghette held without bail.
“The commander was a leader in the department, and a devoted father and husband. This case is truly tragic and disheartening to the entire city, the Chicago Police Department, Bauer’s family, and loved ones,” State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said.
Foxx said Bauer was dressed in full uniform and sitting in his police vehicle near the Thompson Center on Tuesday afternoon, when he heard police radio reports about a suspect fleeing a street stop by tactical officers in the area. A short time later, Bauer spotted Legghette running nearby, so he exited his vehicle and chased Legghette to the plaza outside the Thompson Center and tried to arrest him, but Legghette struggled with him, and fell down the stairs, according to Foxx.
Bauer either fell down the stairs with Legghette or followed him down, and the two continued to struggle on the lower landing, where Legghette pulled out a gun and fired seven shots, hitting Bauer six times. The commander died from his injuries, and Foxx said his gun was still in its holster when his body was found.
“In a matter of seconds, at the hand of one individual who was wearing body armor and armed with a semi-automatic extended-clip firearm, this department didn’t just lose an exemplary police officer, the city lost a piece of itself, and a family lost a loving father and husband,” Johnson said Wednesday.
Nearby officers arrested Legghette within seconds of the shooting, and recovered a 9 mm handgun with an extended clip from his coat pocket, according to Foxx. Police also recovered heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and a “sharp object” he was carrying. He also was wearing ballistic body armor. His hands tested positive for the presence of gunshot residue.
Foxx said surveillance video captured Bauer chasing Legghette, the struggle between them, and police officers arresting Legghette after the shooting.
Police said Legghette had just completed parole last year, after serving time for weapons and drug convictions. Court records show Legghette has five criminal convictions, including four felonies, dating back to 1997:
• In January 2015, he pleaded guilty to gun and 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 1997, he was convicted of a drug charge, and sentenced to a year of probation.
Officers said Bauer’s cousin was Martin Darcy, a Chicago police officer who was shot and killed in 1982. Darcy’s son was one of the officers who investigated Bauer’s murder.