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October 24, 2006
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Ill. officer dies after late-night shooting

The Associated Press

MAYWOOD, Ill. - A 37-year-old police officer was shot and killed while sitting in his patrol car in the suburban village of Maywood, and authorities said Tuesday that they've interviewed several "persons of interest."

Maywood Police Officer Thomas Wood, a seven-year department veteran and a K-9 officer, was shot several times late Monday night and pronounced dead at 11:43 p.m. at the nearby Loyola University Medical Center.

Police Chief Elvia Williams called the shooting, near 6th Avenue and Erie Street, a "horrendous crime."

Authorities said investigators were speaking with three men, none of whom were considered suspects. A phone message left by The Associated Press Tuesday with a police department spokesman was not immediately returned.

Wood, a movie buff and father of five, also worked as a part-time security officer at Proviso East High School in Maywood and at a Target store in Broadview, family members said.

"He was awesome. You can ask anybody," his wife, Helene, 36, told the Chicago Tribune. "He treated me like a queen."

Before joining the Maywood Police Department, Wood also worked as an officer in Schiller Park and Stone Park, his wife said.

Wood's canine partner, a malinois shepherd, was in the police car during the shooting but was not injured.

During a news conference Tuesday, Maywood investigators asked the public for help finding the shooter. Those with information have been asked to call the Maywood Police Department at 708-450-4409.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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