On-Duty Cop, Ex-Suburban Cop Fatally Gunned Down
Chicago Sun-Times via YellowBrix
November 27, 2010
CHICAGO – The two men shared much in common.
They both loved cars.
One, Michael Flisk, 46, was a highly decorated Chicago Police officer. The other, Stephen Peters, 44, was a retired Chicago Housing Authority officer and former suburban cop.
The burglary of Peters’ prized red Ford Mustang Cobra brought them together Friday at the garage on the Southeast Side where Peters stored the car.
Flisk, an evidence technician, was there simply to process the scene, but in a stunning outburst of violence, both men were gunned down, leaving their families and the police force reeling.
Peters had called the police after discovering the seats and radio were stolen from his car, which was parked in his mother’s garage for the winter in the 8100 block of South Burnham.
Flisk had responded to the home in the South Chicago neighborhood when suddenly, two bursts of gunfire erupted about 1:30 p.m., according to neighbors. The men lay dying of bullet wounds — with Flisk being shot in the head. The killings mark the second murder of a Chicago Police officer in less than a week.
“It’s surreal. Even when I was told, it didn’t resonate,” said Flisk’s sister-in-law, Gina Flisk.
Peters’ wife, Djana Peters, was equally stunned.
“I don’t understand why someone would do this to him,” she said, sobbing after visiting the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. “Everyone adores him.”
Peters, a military veteran, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he later died.
Flisk, a married father of four, was a 20-year veteran of the force. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died about an hour after he was shot. Flisk comes from a police family with three siblings who are also officers.
More than 60 police cars, their lights flashing, headed in a solemn procession to the medical examiner’s office Friday afternoon to accompany the vehicle bearing Flisk’s remains.
Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said the murders showed how some people have no respect for human life.
“We will squeeze that neighborhood, and we will find out who did this,” Weis said, adding that police have scant information about the gunman or the motive.
On Friday afternoon, police armed with assault weapons searched door to door for a suspect.
Later, evidence technicians worked under bright lights processing the murder scene in the alley. The area was cordoned off two blocks in every direction. Officers were stopping cars and asking drivers what they were doing there.
In the Beverly neighborhood on the Southwest Side where Flisk lived, the officer’s family gathered outside his home and embraced one another.
One neighbor, Tricia Fitzgerald, was in tears as she clutched her young son. Her husband also is a Chicago Police officer.
“They are the nicest people you would ever meet, just really wonderful people,” Fitzgerald said. “He was laid back and good-natured, always available if you needed anything.”
“He’s the one who kind of smoothed everything over with everybody. He wasn’t the oldest, but he was the one who kind of made everybody happy,” Gina Flisk added.
Michael Flisk and his wife, Nora, doted on one another, with his wife buying him a Harley-Davidson motorcycle last Christmas. Flisk’s sons had parked the motorcycle at a neighbor’s house, and on Christmas Day they pushed it in front of their house and woke him up to his delight. Flisk loved to ride it on summer days.
Another neighbor said Flisk was “always tinkering with cars.”
Peters also enjoyed fixing up cars. He was a former CHA and Robbins police officer, and most recently worked for AT&T as an engineer, his wife said.
He liked to race cars, his wife said. Peters was a member of a local Ford Mustang Cobra owners’ club and had won several major awards at car shows.
Peters lived in west suburban Forest Park, but he grew up in his mother’s home on the Southeast Side.
A neighbor, Avis Walker, 44, said she was sleeping upstairs in her home when she heard two shots.
“I sat up and heard two or three more shots behind it,” Walker said.
About five minutes later, ambulances and police officers arrived at the scene, she said.
Sources said no witnesses saw the shooting, but someone saw a man running from the scene.
Walker’s mother, Frieda Walker, said there have been several break-ins in the neighborhood recently, including a man who tried to steal a vehicle from her garage. The man ran away when her husband saw him, she said.
“There have been a lot of shootings, too, but not on this block,” Frieda Walker said.
The slayings follow the fatal shooting Monday night of off-duty Chicago Police Officer David Blake, a SWAT team member. No one has been charged in Blake’s slaying.