Man Accused of Shooting Chicago Cop Ella French Allegedly Confessed Crime to Prosecutor

A prosecutor told a judge Tuesday that a man charged with shooting and killing a Chicago police officer admitted to prosecutors that he pulled out his handgun during a traffic stop and opened fire.

Cook County Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy said Monty Morgan, whose bond hearing was held Tuesday, provided a video statement admitting to consuming alcohol, possessing a firearm and shooting two officers. Morgan's initial court appearance is scheduled for August 16.

Murphy detailed the incident in which Officer Ella French was killed and another officer was injured. A third officer shot back at Morgan and wounded him, who is still hospitalized and did not attend the bond hearing.

Morgan will remain in jail without bond on charges of first-degree murder of a peace officer, attempted murder of two other officers, unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

"They didn't have their weapons drawn, they weren't firing on him, and callously (Morgan) shoots and kills one, and the other is in critical condition," Cook County Judge Arthur Willis said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Chicago Police
A man has reportedly confessed to shooting and killing a Chicago Police officer during a traffic stop this month. Pictured, police investigate a crime scene where three people were shot at the Wentworth Gardens housing complex in the Bridgeport neighborhood on June 23, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. A 24-year-old man died from injuries he suffered in the shooting and two others, a 22-year-old male and a 25-year-old male, were seriously wounded. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Police stopped the SUV Morgan was in because of expired plates. Morgan, 21, of Chicago, and his 22-year-old brother, Eric, who was driving, initially followed officers' instructions, handing over the vehicle's keys and getting out of the SUV. But the situation escalated after Monty Morgan refused to set down a drink and cellphone he was holding, Murphy said.

"He began physically jerking his arms away from the officers," Murphy said.

Footage from police body cameras showed Morgan had a handgun tucked into his waistband, Murphy said. As he struggled with police, he fired several shots, striking the 29-year-old French once in the head and a 39-year-old officer, whose name has not been released, in the right eye, right shoulder and in his brain.

Both officers fell to the ground face up, their body cameras still recording, Murphy said. At one point, Morgan could be seen stepping over the 39-year-old wounded officer before stepping out of view.

In the meantime, Eric Morgan had run off during the struggle, and the third officer had chased after him, Murphy said. When that officer heard gunshots, he ran back and exchanged gunfire with Monty Morgan before falling to the ground.

Eric Morgan also ran back, and his brother then handed the gun to him, according to court documents. The third officer got back up and shot at Monty Morgan again, hitting him in the abdomen.

At a separate bond hearing on Tuesday afternoon, a judge ordered Eric Morgan held without bond. Eric Morgan, who authorities say was captured in a yard where he had run to dump his brother's gun, is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and obstruction of justice.

A third man, Jamel Danzy, 29, of Indiana, is charged with supplying the semiautomatic handgun used in the shooting. He is accused of buying the weapon from a licensed gun dealer in Hammond, Indiana, in March and provided it to an Illinois resident who he knew could neither buy nor possess guns because of a felony conviction.

French was the first Chicago police officer to die from a gunshot in the line of duty in nearly three years.