A police commander was shot to death while responding to a call in downtown Chicago on Tuesday, according to a statement made by local authorities.

Cmdr. Paul Bauer, 53, heard the call over the radio after a police tactical team attempted to question a man near State Street and Wacker Drive about a shooting, according to department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. When they attempted to approach the man, he took off running.

Bauer, who was reportedly nearby and in uniform, saw the suspect matching the description he’d heard over the radio and attempted to question him. An altercation broke out soon thereafter, and in the ensuing struggle, Bauer was shot multiple times.

“People were shouting at each other, because people thought it was a riot, and so did we,” said Gloria Schmidt, who said she had been inside a nearby courthouse and came outside shortly after the shooting. “It was just hysteria,” she said.