Some Killings of Police Officers Never Are Solved

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Not all killings of police officers are solved. Shortly before 11 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2006, Tom Wood, a Maywood, Il., Police Department K-9 officer, drove to an area known for gang and drug problems in the long-troubled suburb. Sitting in his marked SUV with his police dog Daro in the back, Wood ran the license plate of a Pontiac that was parked on the darkened residential street. He called the girlfriend of a reputed gang member. Within minutes, Wood, 37, was dead. He was shot repeatedly by someone who approached from the street and might have been talking to him through his partially opened window before opening fire.

A decade has passed since Wood’s murder. No one has been arrested, and the police appear no closer than they ever were to catching the killer, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. There were 48 cops nationwide “feloniously” killed in the line of duty in 2006. Three cases remain unsolved: those of a deputy sheriff in Sacramento County, Ca., who was shot during a traffic stop; an officer in Puerto Rico struck by gunfire amid a gang shootout, and Wood.  Maywood, with 54 officers, still has a detective assigned part-time to the Wood case. Police Chief Valdimir Talley says there will be a renewed push to solve the case in 2017. “I owe it to the family,” Talley says “I’m definitely committed to getting this resolved.” The slain officer’s widow, Helene Wood, is not optimistic the case will be solved any time soon. That’s in large part because, she says, the initial probe ended in shambles: “They don’t really have anything. What are they going to do with nothing?” The Sun-Times reviews the flaws in the investigation.

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