A 15-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department was found slain in his vehicle Monday night with his service weapon and wallet nearby, authorities said.
David Blake, 45, was assigned to the S.W.A.T. unit for the last five years and received 84 awards in the course of his career, his colleagues said.
Blake was found with a bullet wound to the back of the head in a Sport Utility Vehicle in the 2900 block of West Seipp St., in Chicago's Wrightwood neighborhood around 6:30pm Monday, said Supt. Jody Weis, confirming some details during a morning press conference.
"Once again I stand before you announcing the death of a Chicago Police officer," said Weis. "It is very sad. This should not be happening."
Investigators said they believe Blake's death was a homicide, but did not specify exactly what leads them to that determination.
The SUV's windows were closed and the shots were apparently fired from inside the car, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing a source. Blake was reportedly found with a cigarette in his mouth, the newspaper reported.
In his personal time, Blake played four seasons as a member of the Chicago Police Enforcers football team, which competes with other teams across the country raising money for a number of charities.
"Dave was a quiet, unassuming guy," said Sgt. Tim Kusinski, an assistant coach for the Enforcers. "He loved being a S.W.A.T. officer. When I'd ask him how S.W.A.T.'s going he'd always smile. He liked it he loved what he was doing and that's what he wanted to do."
A witness, who identified himself as Chicago Police Officer Theodore Browning, said he lived across the street from the crime scene and heard five shots being fired during Monday's storm. Browning said he called 911 and reported seeing a man in a black coat and a skull cap running away from the scene.
Both of Blake's parents are deceased. Police released his name Tuesday after contacting an aunt.
LeVaughan Walton said she's known Blake for 30 years.
"Growing up, he always wanted to be a cop," said Walton, a next-door neighbor of Blake when he was living with his parents Tommy and Joan in their home in the 1700 block of West 94th.
Blake was living recently in a townhouse on the South Side, but he still had the home on 94th and regularly stopped by to take care of things, Walton said.
"He was a loner, but a good person," Walton said. "David wasn't a person to trust people. He would not talk to you if he didn't trust you."
Blake's death marks the fourth police killing this year.
Officer Michael Bailey was gunned down in July on the South Side as he returned home from a shift guarding Mayor Richard Daley's home. Officer Thor Soderberg was shot and killed by a man two weeks before that. Officer Thomas Wortham was shot and killed outside his father's home by three assailants in May.
"We've done this too many times this year," said Weis.
Anyone who may have information regarding the shooting is asked to call Area 1 detectives at 312-747-8380.