Prosecutors: Chicago Cops Killed by Train Were Responding to Man 'Testing' Handgun He Found

The two Chicago police officers who were struck and killed by a commuter train on Chicago's South Side earlier this week were responding to a man who was "testing" a handgun he found, prosecutors said Thursday.

Edward Brown, 24, has been charged with felony reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the deaths of the officers, Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo.

Brown told police that he found the gun in an alley as he was walking home from a nearby train stop on Monday, according to Assistant State's Attorney Guy Lisuzzo.

"The defendant noticed that there was a black fanny pack laying near the garbage cans," Lisuzzo said at a hearing where Brown was ordered held on $200,000 bond, according to the Associated Press.

When Brown looked inside the fanny pack, he discovered a handgun, magazines and ammunition. He took the firearm and went home, then later returned to a remote area near the railroad tracks to shoot it, Lisuzzo said.

The shots activated a nearby Shotspotter, a device mounted throughout Chicago that can detect and pinpoint the location of gunfire. Gary and Marmolejo were sent to investigate and ended up near the Metra Electric tracks near 101st Street and Dauphin Avenue, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

After arriving on the scene, the officers saw Brown and pursued him up an embankment to the southbound Metra tracks. While walking along the tracks, they were distracted by a northbound train and were struck by a southbound train they did not hear or see coming.

"They must have thought the sound they heard was the northbound train (and) they must have missed the sound of the train right behind them," Guglielmi said.

Brown was cooperative when tracked down by other officers who had arrived to back up Gary and Marmolejo, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"Yes, I have a gun on me," Brown said, according to Guglielmi, just before officers found a .38-caliber Kel-Tec pistol in Brown's sweater pocket.

"I found the gun in the alley on 101st and Vernon and I was just testing it out," Brown added.

Brown has no criminal record in Cook County, according to prosecutors. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted on both charges.

Marmolejo, 36, and Gary, 31, were the third and fourth Chicago police officers to be killed in the line of duty this year. Officer Samuel Jimenez, 28, was killed in a mass shooting at Mercy Hospital in November, and Cmdr. Paul Bauer, 53, was shot and killed while chasing a suspect in the city's downtown Loop district.

Prosecutors: Chicago Cops Killed by Train Were Responding to Man 'Testing' Handgun He Found | U.S.