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Police hunt for three suspects after officer is shot dead

The man was a father of four.

Updated: 21.14

POLICE WITH HELICOPTERS, dogs and armed with rifles are conducting a massive manhunt in northern Illinois after an officer was shot and killed while pursuing a group of ‘suspicious’ men.

The officer has not been identified publicly, but the Chicago Tribune is reporting that he was a 32-year veteran of the force who was married with four children.

He radioed in to tell dispatchers he was chasing three men on foot in the city of Fox Lake, 55 miles north of Chicago. Communication with him was lost soon after, Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sergeant Christopher Covell said.

“His backup arrived shortly thereafter and found him injured with a gunshot wound,” Covelli said. “The officer has succumbed to his injuries and passed away.”

Undersheriff Raymond Rose told the Chicago Tribune that the officer had also been stripped of his gun and other equipment.

Police and other law enforcement, some of them in military-style camouflage, were seen taking up positions on rooftops and along railroad tracks, scanning the terrain with rifle scopes and binoculars. Others leaned out of helicopters with weapons at the ready.

Lockdown

Nearby Grant Community High School was placed on hard lockdown with children and staff instructed to say hidden and away from windows.

“Grant continues to remain in a lockdown situation at the direction of the Fox Lake Police Department,” the school said in an update on its website.

It said all students and staff were safe, with administrators going from room to room.

Authorities in Fox Lake have notified a number of other law enforcement agencies to ask for assistance, including the FBI, which is sending agents to help in the investigation. Cara Smith, chief strategist for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, said two bloodhounds from the department were taken to the heavily wooded county to assist in the search.

- with reporting from Órla Ryan

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