After allegedly harassing his ex-girlfriend for weeks, a man threatened the woman and her mother with a gun in a Northwest suburban home, shot a police officer who tried to intervene and was then fatally shot by police, authorities said.
A firefighter who by chance was eating dinner near the scene in Arlington Heights on Thursday night helped save the life of Officer Michael McEvoy, police said.
After the 52-year-old officer was dragged from the home with a wound to the chin area, fire Deputy Chief Ken Koeppen, who had come outside after seeing emergency lights, helped stanch the bleeding.
McEvoy, a 24-year veteran, was listed in critical but stable condition at a hospital Friday and was expected to recover, authorities said.
“Ken Koeppen was a hero in all this,” said Arlington Heights police Cmdr. Andrew Whowell. “It was an act of God that he was (there).”
The gunfire capped a span of weeks in which the alleged gunman, Eric M. Anderson, 41, of Niles, persistently harassed a woman who had broken up with him in late November, according to court records. Less than a week before he died, Anderson was charged with sending harassing emails to his 39-year-old ex-girlfriend even though police had warned him not to contact her, court records show. He was released on bond after his arrest Sunday, police said.
A judge signed an emergency order of protection against him Monday, ordering Anderson to stay away from his ex-girlfriend.
“I feel that he may still try and contact me after this,” the woman wrote in her petition for the order. “I just want him to leave me alone.”
Around 7 p.m. Thursday, McEvoy and three other officers responded to a report of a man with a gun at a town house in the 1900 block of Windham Court. Anderson’s ex-girlfriend was at the home visiting her mother, who had called police and then escaped unhurt, Whowell said.
McEvoy was the first officer to enter the house and was shot once, Whowell said. A fellow officer dragged him from the house, police said.
About two hours into the standoff, Anderson and the woman left the house for an attached garage, Whowell said, and officers confronted him. The woman ran away as Anderson pointed his gun at officers, who shot him multiple times, Whowell said.
Anderson was taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights and was pronounced dead at 11:02 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.