Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 31 years, 6 months, 30 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 18th District - Near North
District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 53
Date of Birth: 17 Nov 1964
Date of Appointment: 14 Jul 1986
Date of Incident: 13 Feb 2018
End of Watch: 13 Feb 2018
Date of Interment: 17 Feb 2018
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-10
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 5, Line 27
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 5
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 61-W: 31
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: Unknown
Incident & Biographic Details
Commander Paul R. Bauer, Star #29, aged 53 years, was a 31 year, 6 month, 30 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 18th District – Near North.
On February 13, 2017, at approximately 1:40 p.m., a 1st District tactical team observed a suspicious subject, Shomari Legghette, at State Street and Lower Wacker Drive. In response to a shooting at 35 East Lower Wacker Drive the week prior, officers were saturating the area to combat drug sales, which sparked the shooting. The officers attempted to make contact with Legghette for a field interview when he fled on foot. A foot pursuit followed and a description of Legghette was broadcast over Zone 4 radio. The pursuing officers lost sight of Legghette at Lake and State Streets and relayed the message over the radio. One of the pursuing officers cautioned responding units to not get hurt, the offender was only wanted for a field interview.
Commander Bauer had just attended a training session within the vicinity of the Thompson Center and minutes before he was due to head to a meeting at City Hall he monitored the radio call. The Commander spotted a man matching the description of the suspect at 161 North Clark Street and gave chase across Clark Street into the Thompson Center Plaza located at 100 West Randolph Street. Commander Bauer confronted Legghette in the plaza near the top of the Food Court’s East emergency exit stairs. A struggle ensued and Legghette pulled the Commander down the stairs. Shortly after the fall Legghette produced a semi-automatic handgun with a thirty round magazine. Legghette stood over the Commander and fired seven rounds. The Commander was struck six times in the head, neck, torso, back and wrist. Legghette then attempted to make good his escape, but was arrested at the top of the staircase by responding officers. Due to the commotion, it wasn’t immediately known that the Commander was shot. An officer inspecting the staircase found him a few minutes later. His body was lying just out of sight from the top of the staircase, his weapon still holstered, and his radio and handcuffs lying next to his body. An ambulance was summoned and Commander Bauer was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Shortly after the arrest of Legghette he was found to have been wearing a bullet proof vest and was transported to Area Central Headquarters for further investigation. Further investigation revealed Surveillance video that captured the struggle and three civilian witnesses identified Legghette in a lineup as the man who struggled with Bauer at the top of a stairwell. Legghette was charged with First Degree Murder, Possession of Less Than 15 Grams Heroin and Possession of a Firearm by Felon. During his bond hearing on February 14, 2018 Judge Mary Marubio ordered Legghette held without bond. On March 13, 2020, a jury returned a verdict of guilty and Legghette was convicted of 1st Degree Murder.
Commander Bauer was the first officer, the rank of Commander, to be killed in the line of duty. He also had a cousin, Patrolman Martin Emmett Darcy, Jr., who was also fatally shot in the line of duty on September 27, 1982.
Commander Bauer was waked at Nativity of Our Lord Church located at 653 West 37th Street, his funeral mass was also held at Nativity of Our Lord Church. He was laid to rest on February 17, 2018 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois.
Commander Paul R. Bauer, born November 17, 1964, received his Probationary Appointment to the Department on July 14, 1986 and he attended the Jackson Street Police Academy. He earned 1 Carter H. Harrison Medal (posthumously), 32 Honorable Mentions, 3 Attendance Recognition Awards, the 2009 Crime Reduction Award, the 2004 Crime Reduction Award, the NATO Summit Service Award, 1 Presidential Election Deployment Award, 1 Democratic Convention Service Award, 18 Complimentary Letters, 1 Appearance Award and 7 Physical Fitness Awards during his career. Commander Bauer was promoted to Sergeant in 1994, Lieutenant in August 2005, Captain on May 1, 2015 and to Commander on June 25, 2016.
Commander Bauer was survived by his wife, Erin (nee Molloy); daughter, Grace, age 13; parents, Annette and Paul and siblings, Jane (Chris) Schuleit, Pam (Andy) Howell and Sue (Frank) March.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #JB150650.
On February 17, 2018, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced that the new joint Chicago Fire and Police Academy located on the 4300 block of West Chicago Avenue, which will begin construction in late 2018, will be named the Paul R. Bauer Academy.
On September 25, 2018, Commander Bauer’s star was retired by Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.