Chicago, IL

Chicago Police Department Commander Demoted Following White Sox Ballpark Shooting Incident

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

He did not have the written permission to work an outside job, as required by department regulations
Photo byKen Lund/flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0}

In the aftermath of a shooting incident at Guaranteed Rate Field during a White Sox game last month, a Chicago police commander has been demoted, according to sources familiar with the situation.

It has been five weeks since the incident occurred, where two women were injured by bullets during the baseball game. However, Chicago police have yet to provide definitive answers regarding the circumstances surrounding the shooting, leaving the case shrouded in mystery.

Sources close to the investigation revealed to ABC7 that just last week, a Chicago police crime scene investigator and a state police investigator returned to Guaranteed Rate Field to reexamine the scene of the shooting in the left field bleachers. Their aim was to determine the trajectory of the bullets, a critical piece of evidence in the ongoing investigation.

The incident, which took place five weeks ago, left two women wounded, and authorities have been unable to ascertain whether the shots were fired from inside or outside the ballpark.

One of the victims, a 42-year-old woman who was shot in the leg, spoke under the condition of anonymity.

"The only way I can think to describe it is as a pop," she said. "I am familiar with the sound of gunshots. It did not sound like a gunshot to me. It was a pop."

She added that she wishes they had at least paused the game if not cancel it. The police consulted with the White Sox management, and despite the fact two people were shot, they stated that they lacked evidence of an active shooter and did not want to incite panic.

Recent information obtained from sources indicates that Chicago police Commander John Spellman, who was working as a contract security supervisor for the White Sox on the night of the incident, has been demoted to the rank of Lieutenant. This decision came as Spellman did not possess written permission from Interim Police Superintendent Fred Waller to engage in the outside employment, as mandated by department regulations.

A redacted copy of the police report from the night in question revealed that responding officers were equipped with body-worn cameras when interacting with White Sox personnel. The report also mentioned Commander Spellman's presence on the scene and his notification to Sox personnel to halt the game for public safety reasons at 20:12 hours.

While the victim expressed concerns that the full truth of the incident may never be uncovered, Chicago police continue their investigation.

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