CHICAGO — The alleged 18-year-old suspect in the fatal shooting of a Chicago police officer had previously been taken into custody and charged with a crime.
The officer was identified Thursday as 32-year-old Andrés Vásquez Lasso, who had five years with the department.
The officer was shot several times Wednesday in the 5200 block of South Spaulding Avenue on the Southwest Side, while responding to a call of a man chasing a woman with a gun. Vásquez Lasso started chasing the 18-year-old suspect, and shots were exchanged between the offender and the officer.
The suspect was shot in the head and taken to a hospital in critical condition. WGN News is not naming the suspect because they have not been charged in the case.
In an incident last summer, the 18-year-old and two others were arrested after running from a vehicle that was believed to be involved in a shooting in the city’s Little Village neighborhood.
The State’s Attorney’s Office Felony Review rejected charges against the 18-year-old, and a misdemeanor charge against him for resisting arrest was later dropped. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said based on his age and lack of criminal history, he was offered an alternative to traditional prosecution. The office said he completed 25-hours of community service and that is why the misdemeanor charge was dismissed.
He had no previous convictions. The two others in the car were charged.
Ald. Ray Lopez joined several police officers Thursday morning at a Gage Park school for a Read Across America event. Lopez said he’s disgusted the 18-year-old, who went on to shoot and kill Vásquez Lasso, was not already behind bars.
A spokesperson for State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said they did not have evidence to support felony charges at the time against the 18-year-old, pointing out the other two people arrested were charged. One of them was due in court Thursday.
The suspect remains hospitalized and the office says it will work with the Chicago Police Department on charges for the police officer’s murder when appropriate.
No charges have been filed yet in Vásquez Lasso’s murder.
A prayer vigil will be held for Officer Vásquez Lasso at 7 p.m. Thursday at Hale Park, located at 6258 West 62nd Street, by the flagpole.