The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation recently named four CPD officers and a CPD sergeant their February Officers of the Month, in recognition of their effective response to a potentially deadly situation that occurred last spring:
"On April 4, 2022, 8th District Tactical Officers Ivan Lopez, Martin Kirkel, Joseph Shanahan and Sgt. Daniel Hodges responded to call of a domestic-related “person shot” call inside an apartment at 4260 W. Ford City Drive.
"Upon arriving, the officers could hear a female pleading for help inside, yelling she had been shot and that the offender was still in the apartment. Officers Lopez, Shanahan and Kirkel, recognizing the dire situation, entered the small apartment, took positions of cover and yelled for the offender to come out. The officers further noticed that the victim’s father was also shot and lying motionless on the adjacent kitchen floor.
"The officers approached the second victim to render aid when the offender exited a back room with a handgun and fired two shots directly at the officers. The three officers, without personal regard for their own safety, then grabbed the female victim by the hand, dragging her into the hallway, where Sgt. Hodges immediately pulled her down the hall safely to awaiting paramedics.
"Sgt. Hodges then set up a perimeter, notified SWAT and directed other responding officers to evacuate the neighboring apartments. After handing off the victim to Sgt. Hodges, Officer Lopez took a position outside the apartment door, where he began a dialogue with the offender, pleading with him to surrender, while at the same time drawing his attention away from the second gunshot victim, who was still lying on the floor.
"Officer Lopez used great restraint in not re-entering the apartment and risking a second shooting encounter. Instead, he began speaking calmly with the offender for approximately 40 minutes. Officer Lopez continued his dialogue until the arrival of Special Weapons and Tactics Officer Orlando Sanchez, who then took over the dialogue with the offender. For another hour, Officer Sanchez patiently spoke to the offender and on multiple occasions was close to getting him to surrender peacefully.
"Finally, Officer Sanchez convinced the offender to come to the front room area in view of officers. The offender, who still had his handgun in his hand, then raised the gun and pointed it at Officer Sanchez who in return fatally shot the offender.
"The officers then entered the apartment, rescued the second shooting victim and provided medical aid to the offender. Both gunshot victims, although seriously wounded, subsequently survived their injuries from the incident.
"Each of our awardees demonstrated in great degree, acts of selflessness, personal courage and devotion to duty. Their teamwork, bravery, and sound tactics led to the rescue of two innocent victims from an extremely deadly situation and an armed offender was stopped before being able to cause further harm."
Congratulations to Officers Ivan Lopez, Joseph Shanahan, Martin Kirkel, Orlando Sanchez and Sergeant Daniel Hodges. (Pictured above with 8th District Commander Bryan Spreyne.)