Death Classification: Line of Duty
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 3 years, 3 months, 22 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Office of the First Deputy Superintendent, Bureau of Patrol, Unit 716 - Community Safety Team (CST)
District of Incident (Present Day): 008 - Chicago Lawn
Location of Occurrence:
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 29
Date of Birth: 08/31/1991
Date of Appointment: 04/16/2018
Date of Incident: 08/07/2021
End of Watch: 08/07/2021
Date of Interment:
Grave Location: Unknown
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Pending Ceremony
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Pending Ceremony
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Pending Ceremony
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Pending Ceremony
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: Did Not Serve
Incident & Biographic Details
Police Officer Ella Grace French, Star #15013, aged 29 years, was a 3 year, 3 month, 22 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 10th District – Ogden and detailed to Unit 716 – Community Safety Team (CST).
On August 7, 2021, at 9:08 p.m., Officer French was on duty at 2234 West 63rd Street working with her partners Carlos A. Yanez, Jr. #16022 and Joshua Blas #14751. The officers observed n SUV with expired registration and conducted a traffic stop. The vehicle contained three occupants; Emonte Morgan, age 21, Eric Morgan, age 19 and a female, age 21. Eric Morgan was driving the car, while the female was in the passenger seat and Emonte Morgan was in the back seat. There was open alcohol in the car and the female wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Officer French had Eric Morgan give her his car keys; he then told her he had cannabis, and French told him to get out of the car. The other officers ordered the other two to step out. Emonte Morgan exited the car with a drink in one hand and his cellphone in the other. He refused to put them down and jerked his arms away from the officer. At this point Eric Morgan fled on foot with Officer Blas giving chase. As Officer Blas pursued Eric Morgan, Officer French began to struggle with Emonte Morgan and they moved from the rear of the SUV towards the front passenger side of the car. It was at this time Emonte Morgan produced a Glock 17, 9mm, semi-automatic firearm from his waistband and shot Officer French one time at point blank range. Emonte Morgan then fired again striking Officer Yanez. At this point Officer Blas had caught Eric Morgan and was attempting to put him in handcuffs. Hearing the gunfire he stopped and returned to the scene to find Emonte Morgan standing at the rear of the car. Emonte fired at Officer Blas who then returned fire, striking Emonte Morgan, and fell to the ground. As Officer Blas stood back up he observed Eric and Emonte Morgan meet up across the street, exchange the firearm, and begin to flee the scene. Officer Blas returned to the car to locate his partners and discovered they had been shot. He immediately radioed for help and a perimeter was established. Responding officers were able to locate Emonte Morgan and Eric Morgan was tackled by two citizens as he attempted to cut through a yard. The two citizens held him down until police arrived and the firearm was also recovered nearby in the yard.
Officer French was shot once in the back of the head and was transported to the University of Chicago Hospital by responding officers where she was pronounced dead. Officer Yanez sustained three gunshot wounds; two in the head, one round exiting the right eye and the other lodging in the back of his head, and the third round striking his right shoulder. He was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital by responding police where he was treated and later transferred to the University of Chicago Hospital and admitted to the ICU. Officer Blas was uninjured and taken to Holy Cross Hospital for observation. Emonte Morgan sustained two gunshot wounds, one in the abdomen and the other in the left bicep, and was transported to Christ Medical Center by CFD Ambulance #8.
Emonte Morgan and Eric Morgan were placed in custody and arrested at the scene. The third female offender fled the scene and made good her escape, she was later identified, located and arrested the next morning on August 8, 2021. The Glock 17 used by Emonte Morgan was recovered at the scene and inventoried. On August 9, 2021, Emonte Morgan was charged with 1 count of 1st Degree Murder, 2 counts of Attempted Murder and 1 count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon. On August 9, 2021, Eric Morgan was charged with 1 count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon, 1 count of Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon with a Prior Conviction and 1 count of Obstruction of Justice. The Glock 17 was traced and it was learned that it had been obtained through a straw purchase. The weapon was purchased by Jamel Danzy, age 29, of Hammond, Indiana from a firearms dealer in the same city. Danzy then transferred that weapon to Eric Morgan knowing he was not legally able to purchase a firearm. On August 9, 2021, Danzy was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Knowingly Transferring a Firearm to an Out of State Resident and Knowingly Disposing of a Firearm for a Convicted Felon. It was also learned through investigation that the SUV the three had been driving in was registered to Danzy.
Officer French was waked at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel, located at 7740 South Western Avenue. Her funeral mass was held at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel. She was cremated and entombed on August 21, 2021 in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois.
Police Officer Ella Grace French, born August 31, 1991, received her Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 16, 2018. She attended the Jackson Street Police Academy and was issued Star #15013 on October 26, 2018. Officer French earned 1 2019 Crime Reduction Ribbon, 15 Honorable Mentions and 1 Emblem of Recognition for Physical Fitness during her career. Prior to joining the Chicago Police Department, Officer French was a Corrections Officer for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.
Officer French was survived by her mother, Elizabeth and brothers: Andrew, Christian, Julian and Michael.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #JE329873 and JE330037.
On August 7, 2022, Officer French’s star was retired by Superintendent of Police David O’Neal Brown and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.