Crime and Courts

Person of interest in custody for killing of retired Chicago police officer

Retired Chicago police officer Larry Neuman, the department's longest-serving bomb technician, was shot and killed Thursday near his West Garfield Park home.

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A person of interest was in police custody for the shooting death of Larry Neuman, a 73-year-old retired Chicago police officer, authorities said late Sunday.

As of 9:15 p.m., a Chicago police spokesperson confirmed one person was in custody and an investigation was ongoing. Footage captured by an NBC Chicago photographer earlier in the evening showed the individual arriving in a black vehicle and then being taken into custody by officers.

One day earlier, Chicago police released surveillance video of two suspects wanted in connection with Neuman's killing. As of Sunday evening, it remained unclear if the person in custody was one of the individuals seen in the video.

Neuman was fatally shot just after 11:30 a.m. Thursday near his home in the 4300 block of West Monroe Street in the city's West Garfield Park neighborhood. Dozens of people marched down West Monroe Street in the 73-year-old's honor on Sunday, beginning at St. Michael Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as a minister, and ending outside his home.

“He spent his entire career safeguarding our city and spent his retirement as a reverend, speaking out against the violent crime that’s plaguing our neighborhoods,” Supt. Larry Snelling said Thursday during the Chicago Police Board’s meeting at police headquarters. “Please keep his family in your thoughts.”

Neuman, the city's longest-serving bomb technician, retired in 2010. He worked at the police department for 28 years.

A transportation security explosives specialist, Neuman joined the TSA in 2010 and worked at O’Hare and Midway airports, said a spokesperson for the agency. In his current position, Neuman trained the screening workforce at both airports to detect explosives and other potential threats.

Larry Neuman, a retired Chicago police officer and bomb technician was shot to death in the city's West Garfield Park neighborhood Thursday morning. NBC Chicago's Courtney Sisk reports.

“We are deeply saddened by his passing and extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues,” the spokesperson said.

Neuman was a “pillar” of his beloved West Garfield Park community, according to Pastor Paul Sims of St. Michael Missionary Baptist Church. Neuman had been a member of the church for 30 years.

“He was the kindest man you knew. There wasn’t anything that Larry Neuman wouldn’t do for somebody. If you needed it and if he didn’t have it, he would go get it for you.”

Neuman was an ordained preacher and part of the ministerial staff at the church, Sims said. Neuman enjoyed sharing his wisdom with young people, never hesitating to offer advice.

“He would stop and talk to any and everybody,” Sims said. “He would encourage you no matter what you were doing in life, no matter what it was he would stop and talk to somebody.”

Neuman was a veteran of the Marines who served in the Vietnam War, Sims said.

“He was a family man, he was a grandfather, he loved his grandchildren, he loved helping me at the church with the young people,” Sims said. “He was a great man, he was a great person.”

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