Metra police officer fatally shot in south suburb of Harvey
September 28, 2006 (HARVEY, Ill.) (WLS) -- A $25,000 reward has been offered to find the gunman who shot a Metra officer in the back of the head. Thomas Cook was killed while sitting in his car near a Metra station. Commuters who use that stop say they are worried about their safety. The shooting happened near the Sibley Boulevard station in Harvey Wednesday night.
Members of the task force were on the scene all day Thursday. They have been meeting and talking with commuters, also canvassing the neighborhood to try to find out anything about the shooting. A lot of them have been on the job working round the clock ever since Officer Cook's body was discovered Wednesday night.
There were only a handful of Metra trains in and out of the station Thursday evening, but passengers getting off at the 147th Street stop offered investigators the chance to find potential witnesses who may have seen something significant related to the shooting.
"There is a Metra car that was here and last night there wasn't. It was very odd that it was across the street. So usually it's over here or right here in front of this lot right here, and it wasn't," said Melissa Hawkins, Metra rider.
"It's pretty sad when somebody shoots a cop. It tells me that somebody has no fear of the law or anything," said Tory Davis, Metra rider.
Forty-three-year-old Thomas Cook had been a Metra officer for about the last four years. He was parked near the station Wednesday night doing surveillance when he was shot in the back of the head inside his squad car.
"We looked in the car and we seen the man just slumped over. We called him, like, 'Mister, mister,' but he never responded," said Antoine Lee, neighborhood resident.
Cook served 10 years with the Riverdale Police Department before going to Metra. At the Riverdale department, the station's flags are at half staff and bunting hangs over the entrance. Cook's father served as chief of the Riverdale Police Department for a number of years.
The officers investigating are committed to tracking the gunman down quickly. Metra is offering a $25,000 reward.
"It was horrible. It was horrible. And as you can see, how serious we are about it, the task force is working. They're leaving no stone unturned," said James Sanford, Metra police chief.
Officer Cook is survived by his wife and two small children. He is the first Metra officer ever to be killed in the line of duty.
Anyone with information is urged to call Metra police: (312) 322 2800.
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