Two Chicago police officers struck and killed by a commuter train Monday night may have never heard it coming, according to experts and body cam video recovered at the scene.
Around 6 p.m. Monday, 5th District Officers Eduardo Marmolejo, 36, and Conrad Gary, 31, chased a shooting suspect onto train tracks on the Far South Side, and were subsequently hit by a passing NICTD-Indiana South Shore train near 103rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.
A limited amount of body cam video recovered at the scene allowed investigators to shed some light on what went wrong. Marmolejo and Gary responded to the area after Shotspotter technology detected the sound of gunfire. After arriving on the scene, they followed a suspect up an embankment and onto an elevated section of southbound Metra tracks.
According to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, the video indicates the officers “clearly acknowledge” a northbound train headed in their direction while standing on the southbound tracks. However, they were apparently unaware of a southbound train bearing down on them from the opposite direction, moving at speeds in excess of 60 mph.
“They must have thought the sound they heard was the northbound train,” Guglielmi said. “They must have missed the sound of the train right behind them.”
Passing trains are supposed to dim their lights. Apparently one did, and the other did not.
SOURCE: NANCY LOO, COURTNEY GOUSMAN, PATRICK ELWOOD AND ERIK RUNGE