Woman charged in officer’s death held on $10 million bond
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter March 16, 2014 12:10PM
An off-duty Chicago police officer was killed early Friday after a police chase that started in Calumet Park. / NVP News.
Updated: April 18, 2014 6:18AM
A Calumet Park woman was ordered held on $10 million bond Sunday after she was accused of leading police on a high-speed chase before running a red light and plowing into a Chicago police officer’s car as he was heading home, killing him.
Shanell Terrell, 31, was charged with the first-degree murder of Officer David L. Harris, 42, a father of two. She allegedly was found to have cannabis in her system after her arrest early Friday morning and was driving without a license, authorities said.
Police first noticed the white van that Terrell was allegedly driving at 12:51 a.m. Friday when a Calumet Park officer saw the van blow through a stop sign at 124th and Ada, authorities said.
The van’s headlights weren’t on, and when police ran the plate, it came back as a Mercury sedan, not the van.
When police tried to pull the van over, it sped off, going through a red light at 119th and Ashland and heading north onto Interstate 57.
Terrell allegedly led police on a chase that approached 90 mph, the van swerving across multiple lanes of traffic and entering and exiting the Dan Ryan Expy. Terrell drove through a red light at 87th and Lafayette, smashing into Harris’ Lexus. The officer, still in his uniform, died at the scene. Harris was part of a Chicago Police Department “saturation” unit that was sent to high-crime areas on the South Side.
After the crash, authorities said, Terrell ran from the van, but a Calumet Park officer soon caught up with her. She broke her hand in the crash, authorities said. A passenger broke his ankle, and he was charged with having drugs. His bond was set at $50,000.
Terrell’s family cried out when bond was set and they were ordered out of the courtroom.
“That’s my daughter!” cried a man in a wheelchair who later identified himself as Will Terrell, Shanell’s father.
He blamed his daughter’s passenger — who also is her boyfriend — for the crash.
“He’s no good,” he said.
The woman’s attorney said she has three children, ages 15, 13 and 9.
“These charges are a measure of justice for Officer Harris, as well as his family, friends and colleagues, though the pain of his loss makes the news bittersweet,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Saturday. “On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, I would like to express deepest condolences to the Harris family.”
Before joining the Chicago Police Department, Harris was a Maywood police officer from 1997 to 2003. While a member of the suburban department, Harris helped capture a man suspected of shooting a Bellwood police officer and was involved in a shootout with bank robbers, a police spokesman said.
A lawyer for the village of Calumet Park declined last week to discuss the pursuit that led to Harris’ death, saying it’s still under investigation. Police sources said the pursuit was called off before the accident but did not provide details.