CHICAGO (CBS/AP)– A Champaign police officer was fatally shot and another was wounded while responding to a domestic disturbance Wednesday. The gunman also was killed in a shootout with police.
According to the Champaign Police Department, officer Chris Oberheim, 44, was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance in the 2400 block of North Neil Street shortly before 3:30 a.m.READ MORE: As Jury Deliberates In R. Kelly Sex Trafficking Case, What Impact Will Verdict Have On His Future Trials In Chicago?
As officers were getting out of their vehicles at the scene, they exchanged gunfire with an armed suspect. Oberheim and another officer were shot, and so was the suspect.
The suspect killed in the shootout, Darion Marquise Lafayette, 24, of Champaign, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Champaign County coroner said. Autopsies on Oberheim and Lafayette are scheduled for Thursday.
Oberheim was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and later died. The second officer’s condition was stabilized. Police have not released the name of the wounded officer.
“His only intention was to serve, protect and help provide care before he was senselessly fired upon and killed,” Champaign Chief of Police Anthony Cobb said in a statement. “A true professional and devoted public servant, Officer Oberheim is remembered for his heroism, bravery, and the oath of office he honorably upheld in his commitment to duty.”
Oberheim had been with the Champaign Police Department since 2008. He began his career with the Decatur Police Department.READ MORE: Cook County Circuit Court Website Back Online, After Weeks-Long Outage Caused By Breach
Monticello Schools Superintendent Vic Zimmerman said in a statement that Oberheim had four daughters, including three who attend the district’s schools, and that he was very involved in their lives.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time,” Zimmerman said.
Champaign officers have been equipped with body cameras since 2017, and those cameras are supposed to be activated when an officer responds to service calls or is engaged in any law enforcement-related encounter, according to the department’s website.
The department didn’t immediately reply to Associated Press requests for further information about the shootout, including what the officers’ body cameras captured.
Illinois State Police are investigating, with assistance from the Urbana Police Department, the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, and the University of Illinois Police Department.
Police asked anyone with information on the shooting to call Champaign police at 217-351-4545. Arrangements can be made for information to be shared privately. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may also submit tips to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Cold Front Passes Soon
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)