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Northwest Indiana man charged with buying gun used in fatal shooting of a Chicago police officer
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Northwest Indiana man charged with buying gun used in fatal shooting of a Chicago police officer

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Chicago Police Officers Shot

Chicago police work the scene where two police officers where shot during a traffic stop in the 6300 block of South Bell in the West Englewood neighborhood, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021. (Tyler LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The gun used to kill Chicago police Officer Ella French during a traffic stop Saturday was bought in a sham purchase by a Hammond, Indiana, man on behalf of another man, who was in the car French and her partner pulled over before they were shot, federal prosecutors allege.

Jamel Danzy now faces charges of conspiring to violate federal firearms laws. A bond hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Join Sandy Curry, Willie Hall, and Michael Quiroz as they ride for Superior Ambulance in East Chicago

French was killed and her partner was critically wounded over the weekend after curbing a vehicle in West Englewood. Chicago police have two people in custody connected to the shooting, one of whom was arrested in possession of a Glock semiautomatic pistol, authorities said. Charges against those two suspects have not yet been announced.

But shortly after the shooting, investigators traced both the gun and the car to Danzy, a restaurant worker in Northwest Indiana, according to the complaint.

Records showed that Danzy bought the gun in March from a licensed dealer in Hammond, Ind., where he claimed to be buying the weapon for himself, according to the complaint.

ATF agents on Sunday tracked down Danzy at the restaurant where he works, and he agreed to be interviewed on tape in an agent’s car in the parking lot.

Agents showed him the paperwork from the dealer, and at first, he claimed to have bought the gun for himself, the complaint states. But “after further questioning,” he admitted he instead had bought it for someone in Chicago, Individual A, who had a felony record and could not buy a gun for himself.

Chicago is home to the second-largest prosecutor's office in the United States with more than 700 attorneys on staff, responsible for 5 million people. 

Danzy and Individual A have been in a relationship for about three years, according to the complaint. Individual A gave Danzy money and told him exactly the type of gun he wanted Danzy to purchase for him, the complaint states.

Individual A went to Indiana to pick up the gun shortly after Danzy purchased it, according to the complaint.

And months later, on Saturday night, Individual A was taken into custody after the traffic stop where French was killed and her partner wounded. According to the federal complaint, he was arrested with the gun Danzy had purchased for him.

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