Raw video obtained Tuesday shows the moments before Chicago police officers Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary were fatally struck by a South Shore train last month, as they were responding to a call of shots fired on the train tracks near 103rd Street.
The video comes from a camera on a northbound Metra train moments before the incident. On the left, nothing is certain, but what appears to be two people walking with flashlights--believed to possibly be the two officers. What appear to be flashlights scan the railway before going dark--leaving the outline of two people approaching the tracks.
The lights go out of frame on the left--the train passes--and it's believed the moment of impact occurred at that very moment.
All of this lends credence to the official police version of the incident--that the officers observed the northbound Metra train, the one we are aboard with this view, but stayed on the southbound tracks for safety, and were never aware that the southbound train was approaching from behind.
A 24-year-old suspect, Edward Brown, admitted he had fired the gun and was taken into custody near 103rd Street. He is charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon.
The incident occurred near 103rd Street about 7 p.m. in the city’s Rosemoor neighborhood, Metra officials said at the time. Police said the officers were responding to a "shots fired" call when they were struck by a passing train. They were on foot. The NICTD Indiana South Shore Train SS9119 was halted after the incident. The South Shore rail line uses Metra tracks. Metra shut down power in both directions.
The officers were later identified as partners—both fathers—with a collective four years on the force, Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.
“They have faced tragedy, after tragedy, this year,” Johnson said.
Marmolejo was 36. Gary was 31.
The superintendent referred to other deaths in the Fifth District over the past year—including two suicides and another on-duty death.
A visibly weary Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke the night the officers died of the difficulty to grasp more fallen Chicago police officers in a year where the department has had multiple tragedies befall it.
“There are no words that can express the grief and sense of loss—this knocks you back on your heels,” he said.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi called the incident a “devastating tragedy.”
The Fraternal Order of Police tweeted "Prayers, please," shortly after the incident.
Former Chicago police superintendent and Chicago mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy also tweeted after the officers were struck.
"Just now hearing @Chicago_Police lost 2 officers tonight," he said. "Pray for the brave men and women of CPD, they need our support."