Off-Duty Female Chicago Officer Found Dead From Gunshot Wound In Alley
Chicago, IL - An off-duty Chicago police officer was found dead from a gunshot wound Saturday night.
The unidentified female officer was found at around 9:15 p.m. in an alley in the 900 block of South Bell, according to WLS.
Initially, the incident was reported as domestic violence and there was a suspect in custody. Police later corrected those claims and said that the incident wasn't domestic and no suspect has been identified.
The department said that they are investigating if the officer's gunshot wound is self-inflicted.
Chicago PD Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi later tweeted, "CASE UPDATE: Prelim investigation reveals possible self-inflicted gunshot wound. Detectives have classified this as a death investigation as we investigate the circumstances leading up to the shooting & await confirmation & additional info from the medical examiner."
According to the Cook County medical examiner, the officer was a 47-year-old female.
If the officer committed suicide, she would be the seventh Chicago police officer to commit suicide in the past few months.
The Department of Justice reports that the suicide rate among officers in Chicago is 60 percent higher than officers in the rest of the United States, who already have a greatly-increased risk of suicide.
159 officers were reported to have killed themselves in 2018, although a majority of law enforcement suicides likely go unreported.
Blue Lives Matter is frequently made aware of unreported officer suicides which stay unreported at the request of the families.
A recent study of first responder deaths in 2017 by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression is five times higher in police, firefighters, and EMTs than that of the civilian population.
The study found that “public discourse seldom acknowledges the fact that first responders witness tragedy and horror regularly, if not daily.”
“Constant exposure to death and destruction exerts a toll on the mental health of first responders, and yet many do not disclose mental health issues nor do they access treatment,” the study determined.
In 2017, at least 243 police officers, deputies, and firefighters committed suicide – 21 more first responders than were killed in the line of duty during the same year, according to WTVT.