Thousands say goodbye, pay their respects to Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer

Yolanda Curtis
February 19, 2018

Blue hearts with the names of well-wishers lined the gate leading up to Nativity of Our Lord Church in Bridgeport, where Bauer was a regular with his family on Sundays.

"Erin and Grace were everything", said former First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante, who grew up with Bauer and served with him for most of Bauer's 31 years on the force. Paul Bauer, during the recessional of his funeral mass at Nativity of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church on February 17, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The fact that Bauer took it upon himself to join in pursuit of a suspect shows how deeply Bauer took his responsibility to keep the public safe, he said.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has directed all entities governed by the Illinois Flag Display Act to fly both the United States and Illinois state flags at half-staff in remembrance of Chicago Police Commander Paul R. Bauer.

Bauer's wife, 13-year-old daughter, father, and sisters greeted the mourners as they passed the coffin, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Meanwhile, thousands of people - friends, family and police officers from across the country - gathered Friday at a funeral home in suburban Chicago for a wake for Bauer ahead of Saturday's planned funeral.

It has been an excruciating week in Chicago as a senseless murder stole the life of a high-ranking Chicago police commander.

Bauer's killing was the first time an officer has been shot to death in the line of duty since 2011.

Captain Mel Roman, Bauer's executive officer in the 18th District, called him "the poster child for police command", a man with a penchant for playing lighthearted tricks on his colleagues - and who could come down hard when the situation called for it. "Paul Bauer embodied the best of the city of Chicago", Emanuel said.

"I saw the unfortunate news and just wanted to do something..." said aspiring police officer, Joseph Osiecki, to NBC 5.

Cmdr. Bauer was assisting officers in apprehending a suspicious person when he was fatally shot. Bauer was shot to death earlier in the week while confronting a suspect.

Other reports by iNewsToday