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.

The police soon caught up with the suspect and were able to take him into custody. The suspect’s name has not yet been released.

Cmdr. Paul Bauer was shot and killed in Chicago on Feb. 13, 2018. (Image courtesy of the Chicago Police Dept.)

“Commander Bauer stood for the highest ideals of our police department and our city,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

Commander Bauer was a 31-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, and was the first officer to be killed in the city since 2011. He was also the highest ranking officer to be killed in the line of duty in decades.

“It’s a difficult day for us, but we will get through it,” said Superintendent Eddie Johnson of the Chicago police.