Editor's note: Reports from multiple outlets indicated Ella French had a newborn daughter, but officials have yet to declare that she has a child. The story has been updated accordingly.
Ella French, a 29-year-old Chicago police officer, is dead after being shot during a traffic stop. Another cop involved in the deadly traffic stop is fighting for his life.
French and her partner conducted a traffic stop in the South Side's West Englewood neighborhood around 9 p.m. on Saturday night, according to the Chicago Tribune. There were three people in the stopped vehicle, and at least one of the suspects fired upon the officers, who returned fire. The two cops and one of the suspects were shot.
The downed officers were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, and the wounded suspect was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center. Ella French was pronounced dead at the hospital, and the other officer was listed in critical condition.
Image source: Facebook/Chicago Police Department
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police revealed the tragic details in a Facebook post that reads, "Late last night 2 of our own were shot. We lost a sister in blue. Officer Ella French was murdered while conducting a traffic stop with her partners. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and co-workers. The 2nd officer is still fighting for his life. Please keep him in your prayers and thoughts."
French had been on the force since April 2018, according to Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown.
Andrew French, the older brother of Ella French, expressed what a person of integrity she was.
"My sister's always been a person of integrity. She's always done the right thing even when no one's looking," he said. "She has some attributes that you don't find in this world anymore."
"God took the wrong kid," Andrew said of his younger sister's death.
Officials said French was survived by a mother, brother and other family members.
Superintendent Brown said of his police officers, "They come to work willing to run toward danger, toward gunfire. And they're willing to sacrifice their lives to save the lives of perfect strangers."
"They went to work today after last night's tragic, tragic events," Brown continued. "Others are at work now, right now, continuing this brave, courageous work of protecting the people of Chicago."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for a "day of mourning."
"I am here as mayor to declare an official day of mourning for our city," Lightfoot said. "I also want to address another issue that's been lashing our city for far too long. There are some who say that we do not do enough for the police and that we are handcuffing them from doing their jobs. There are others who say we do too much for the police, and then we never hold them accountable for what they do, particularly in Black and brown neighborhoods. All of this, I say, stop. Just stop. This constant strife is not what we need in this moment."
"We have a common enemy. It's the guns and the gangs," Lightfoot added. "Eradicating both is complex. But we cannot let the size of the challenge deter us. We have to continue striking hard blows every day."
French is the first Chicago police officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty since December 2018. So far in 2021, 38 CPD officers have been shot or shot at, according to The Sun. In 2020, 79 officers were shot at or shot.
All three suspects have been apprehended, but their names have not been released. Brown said, "It seems that neither of the three offenders have extensive [criminal] background."