Man charged in murder of CPD Cmdr. Paul Bauer pleads not guilty

CHICAGO --  Shomari Legghette entered a not guilty plea during an arraignment Monday as he faces more than 50 counts, including murder and gun charges, in the killing of  Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer.

Cmdr. Bauer, 53, had been attending a mass shooting training on February 13 when he heard a radio call of a fleeing suspect and spotted Legghette running. Prosecutors say Bauer gave chase and a struggle ensued in a stairwell outside of the Thompson Center, during which Legghette fired seven shots, six of them hitting Bauer.

Bauer had been on the police force 31 years. He's the first Chicago officer to be killed in seven years, and the highest ranking officer to be killed in decades. Chicago police officers, including dozens from Bauer's 18th District, came by school bus to attend the full hearing. CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson sat in the front row.

"I hope that [Legghette] never, ever, ever sees the light of day," Supt. Johnson said later at an event for gun control.

A video obtained by the Chicago Tribune shows an officer removing a 9mm handgun with an extended clip from Legghette’s pockets moments after prosecutors say he shot Bauer. He was also wearing a bulletproof vest and prosecutors say he had heroin, marijuana and cocaine in his possession.

Legghette is a four-time felon, previously convicted of weapons and drug charges, and is being represented by a public defender. Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence in this case. His next court appearance is April 18.