Slain Officer Earned 84 Awards During 15-Year Career
Chicago Sun-Times via YellowBrix
November 24, 2010
CHICAGO – The Chicago Police Department identified the off-duty officer shot to death Monday night on the Southwest Side as David A. Blake, a member of the SWAT team.
Blake’s gun and wallet were found in his personal SUV after he was killed inside the vehicle just after 6:30 p.m. Monday in the 2900 block of West Seipp, a dead-end street, officials say.
A cigarette was still in the mouth of the 45-year-old officer, who was a 15-year Police Department veteran, sources said.
An off-duty officer who lives across from the crime scene heard the shots and called 911. He said a man in a black coat and skull cap ran from the scene.
Police planned to look at surveillance cameras in the area surrounding the shooting to see if there was a passenger in the vehicle with Blake.
On Tuesday morning, a source close to the case described the circumstances surrounding the slaying as “baffling” because Blake’s gun and wallet were still in the SUV, indicating it might not have been a robbery.
“We’re following every lead,” one police source said.
Blake, who had served on the SWAT unit for five years, started his career in the Grand Crossing District on the South Side and later worked in the Targeted Response Unit, the public housing unit and the Central District in the downtown area.
During his career, Blake received 84 awards, including 67 honorable mentions, one department commendation and other awards for courageous and distinguished service.
David Blake (Chicago Police Department)
Blake also played for four seasons on the Chicago Police Enforcers football team, which competes with other teams across the country raising money for charity.
Both of his parents are dead. Police released his name Tuesday after contacting an aunt.
LeVaughan Walton said she had known Blake for 30 years.
“Growing up, he always wanted to be a cop,” said Walton, a next-door neighbor of Blake when he lived with his parents, Tommy and Joan, in their home in the 1700 block of West 94th.
Blake was living recently in a town house on the South Side, but he still had the home on 94th and regularly stopped by to take care of things, Walton said.
“He was a loner, but a good person,” Walton said. “David wasn’t a person to trust people. He would not talk to you if he didn’t trust you.”
Police Supt. Jody Weis held a news conference early Tuesday to announce the sad news.
“I’ve been here too many times,” Weis said, urging anyone who had information about the shooting to call (312) 745-8380.
Three other Chicago Police officers — Thomas Wortham IV, Thor Odin Soderberg and Michael Bailey — were murdered earlier this year.
Another officer, Sgt. Alan J. Haymaker, was killed in a car crash in February while he was thought to be responding to a North Side burglary.