CHICAGO (CBS) – Mourners paid their respects to Chicago Police Officer Conrad Gary Thursday night. Gary is one of two officers killed by a train while responding to a call of shots fired Monday.
Thousands braved the rain and cold to be at Gary’s wake Thursday evening.
The line to say goodbye is lengthy but important to be in for Gary’s friends and family.
“Oh it’s over an hour,” Jean Huggy said. “It’s very touching. You’re happy that people are honoring him but at the same time it’s not the way you wanted.”
Prosecutors say it happened while chasing after 24-year-old Edward Brown, who fired shots on the tracks in the Rosemoor neighborhood.
Brown appeared in court Thursday facing two felony gun charges. Court documents said Brown happened to stop in an alley and noticed a fanny pack with a weapon inside, setting off a tragic chain of events.
“The owner of the gun had taken out the garbage that day and had the fanny pack in his and dropped it,” Assistant State’s Attorney Guy Lisuzzo said. “The owner didn’t realize he lost the fanny pack until later.”
“He saw a gun in there took it home and that was his mistake,” Brown’s defense attorney said. “He’s playing with his gun at home and is like let’s test this out.”
“Once on the track the defendant then fired the handgun into the air,” Lisuzzo said.
“He shot the gun off on the tracks where there were no people. He thought that would be the safe thing,” the defense said.
That sot was detected by the ShotSpotter system.
“What happened to these officers was completely unforeseeable,” Brown’s defense attorney said.
Prosecutors say two shots were fired, and Brown ran from the officers.
Brown’s attorney disagrees.
For Huggy no explanation makes sense in this time of mourning.
“It’s very emotional,” she said. “There’s no words no words.”
Brown is being held on a $200,000 bond. His attorney said this is the first time he was arrested, and he has no prior criminal record.