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Police Officer 'Senselessly Fired Upon and Killed' in the Line of Duty, Suspect Dead

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A central Illinois police officer died Wednesday after being shot by a suspect who also was killed in an exchange of gunfire that left a second officer wounded, a police chief said.

Champaign police officer Chris Oberheim, 44, “passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty,” Police Chief Anthony Cobb said in a statement.

He said Oberheim, who had joined the department in September 2008, was struck by gunfire early Wednesday while responding to a domestic disturbance.

“His only intention was to serve, protect and help provide care before he was senselessly fired upon and killed.”

“A true professional and devoted public servant, Officer Oberheim is remembered for his heroism, bravery, and the oath of office he honorably upheld in his commitment to duty,” Cobb said in his statement.

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The suspect who opened fire on Oberheim and another officer was killed in the exchange of gunfire about 3:20 a.m. at an apartment complex on Champaign’s north side.

The second officer was wounded and reported in stable condition. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

The shooting came days after Cobb said he feared a shooting involving police could happen as the city deals with escalating gun violence.

There have been about 85 reports of shots fired, and many injuries, in Champaign so far this year, The Champaign News-Gazette reported.

Champaign police said Illinois State Police will lead the investigation into the shooting, with assistance from Urbana police, the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Illinois Police Department.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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