Shanell Terrell / Photo from Cook County Sheriff’s office
BY JON SEIDEL
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 42-year-old Officer David L. Harris. She allegedly was found to have cannabis in her system after her arrest early Friday and was driving without a license, authorities said.
Police first noticed the white van 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 streets in Calumet Park, authorities said.
The van didn’t have its headlights on, and when police ran the plate, it came back not to the van but a Mercury sedan.
When police tried to pull the van over, it sped off, going through a red light at 119th Street and Ashland Avenue and heading north onto Interstate 57.
Terrell allegedly led police on a chase that approached 90 miles per hour, with Terrell swerving across multiple lanes of traffic and entering and exiting the Dan Ryan Expressway. Terrell drove through a red light at 87th Street and Lafayette Avenue, smashing into Harris’ Lexus.
The officer, still in his uniform, died at the scene. Harris, a father of two, was part of a Chicago Police Department “saturation” unit dispatched 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.
“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 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.