A Chicago cab driver being hailed as a key witness in the shooting of police Cmdr. Paul Bauer, says he only did what any other citizen would have done in the same situation.
The driver, who asked that he only be identified as “Eddie,” works for Chicago City Services Taxi. He was driving south on Clark street, when Bauer and the suspect he was pursuing literally ran in front of his cab.
“I immediately pulled to the right which is on the west side of Clark Street, right in front of the Thompson Center,” he told NBC 5. “Suddenly as they were fighting, the suspect fell down the stairs, and at that time I was already outside my car.”
“I wanted to help the police officer,” he said. “But the police officer was going down the stairs towards him, the next few seconds what I heard was just the gunshots--it was about six to seven gunshots.”
After that--he described a frenzied scene which he captured with his cellphone.
“The other officers at the scene were running from the Thompson Center, from the Daley Center, all over,” he said. “They were pointing with their guns towards the suspect down the stairway.”
Eddie said he never saw any of the other officers fire their weapon. And as he continued photographing the scene, he watched as officers brought suspect Shomari Legghette up from the stairs.
“It took time by the time they arrested him--by the time they took him up again on the platform,” he said. “And you know, when they pulled out the gun from the suspect, the gun was still in the front pocket of his jacket.”
Legghette was put in a waiting car directly in front of him. He indicated the gunman displayed no emotion.
“He didn’t give any kind of--how to explain--movement of his face to say that he was sorry, no,” Eddie said.
In addition to his cellphone video, police say Eddie’s cab is equipped with cameras which captured the entire incident, including the sound of the gunshots. They hailed him as an important witness and a good citizen.
“The taxicab driver deserves a lot of credit for pulling over,” said Area Central Cmdr. Brendan Dennihan. “And for helping us in our investigation.”
The driver insists he is no hero.
“I’m just a citizen like anybody else who wanted to do the right thing,” he said. “And I’m very sorry for the commander. He lost his life, and I’m very sorry for his family.”