Chicago cop-killing suspect linked to hit-and-run while free on probation: report
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One of the two brothers facing charges in this month’s shooting death of Chicago police Officer Ella French is linked to an April hit-and-run case in which a pedestrian was sent flying up against a stop sign, according to reports.
Emonte Morgan – who is accused of fatally shooting French and wounded a second officer last Saturday – allegedly drove off for nearly a mile and a half after slamming into a man in a crosswalk on April 9, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Both the alleged hit-and-run and the shooting death of French occurred while Emonte Morgan was free on probation following a 2019 robbery conviction, authorities have said.
A court hearing had been scheduled for earlier this week regarding authorities’ claim that Morgan had violated the terms of his probation. But then Morgan and brother Eric Morgan were taken into custody in connection with French’s death, according to the Sun-Times.
The scheduled Tuesday hearing could have sent Emonte Morgan back to jail, the Sun-Times reported.
Emonte Morgan is accused of firing the shots that killed French and wounded the other officer, authorities have said.
After the Morgan brothers’ photos were widely circulated following French’s death, a Chicago-area doctor recognized Emonte Morgan because she witnessed the hit-and-run in April, the Sun-Times reported.
Dr. Diane Heidmann, an internist at Northwestern Hospital, said she saw Morgan driving a van recklessly prior to the pedestrian being struck, according to the newspaper.
“This guy is gonna kill someone,” Heidmann recalled thinking to herself. “I’ve never seen anyone drive so recklessly in my life.”
“I’ve never seen anyone drive so recklessly in my life.”
Soon, she recalled, she heard a “terrible” sound, then saw the pedestrian up against the windshield of Morgan’s van, then thrown against the stop sign as the van drove away, the Sun-Times reported.
“He was in bad shape,” Heidmann recalled about the pedestrian, after she and others rushed to his aid. “I mean, that was just terrible head trauma. I was telling him not to move because if there was any kind of spinal cord damage, I didn’t want him to make it worse.”
Emonte Morgan, center, is charged with first-degree murder in Saturday’s fatal shooting of 29-year-old Chicago police Officer Ella French, left. Eric Morgan, right, is also charged.
The pedestrian was later hospitalized in serious condition. Chicago police opted to request misdemeanor charges from prosecutors instead of felony charges in connection with the alleged hit-and-run, but the Sun-Times reported that a police spokesperson had no information Thursday about why felony charges were not pursued.
On the night of the alleged hit-and-run, Morgan was eventually apprehended by a security guard after leaving his vehicle and trying to flee on foot, the Sun-Times reported. He later told police he had become distracted while driving because he had been on his cellphone, arguing with his brother, the newspaper reported.
On May 18, the Cook County Adult Probation Department claimed Emonte Morgan’s arrest in the April hit-and-run represented a violation of his 2019 probation in the robbery case, according to the Sun-Times.
Charges against Emonte Morgan after the alleged April hit-and-run included driving without a license, FOX 32 reported. Last Saturday, when Officer French was killed, police had pulled over the Morgan brothers’ vehicle because it had expired license plates, the report said.
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