Chicago police chase: Family of mother of 6 killed during police pursuit across city demands answers

Suspect led police through Pullman, Washington Heights, Irving Park, Lakeview, Bridgeport
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The family of a woman killed during a high-speed chase involving Chicago police Wednesday night is demanding answers.

Police were pursuing a man wanted in connection with a homicide and charges are still pending against him.

Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez, or Lupe Franco, a 37-year-old mother of six, was struck Wednesday night by a Chicago police squad car speeding through the North Side during a long pursuit throughout the city.

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A suspect was taken into custody after leading police on a high-speed chase throughout Chicago Wednesday night.



Her black Ford Explorer was hit near the intersection of Irving Park Road and Ashland Avenue. Her family said she was on her way home from her first day at a new job.

The family is now heartbroken. Franco's daughter Jaritzi Escobar said she called her mother for hours that night.

"I thought someone stole her phone with everything going on," she said. "My siblings were waiting for her looking out the window for 30 minutes straight she never got home. That lady was my best friend."



One police officer had to be pulled out of the squad car and another officer was also injured. Both are expected to be OK.

Illinois State Police said the officers were chasing a vehicle wanted in a homicide. The 22 year old suspect behind the wheel was spotted in suburban Midlothian

CPD then picked up the pursuit on the Dan Ryan Expressway where the SUV reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour.

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A suspect was taken into custody after leading police on a high-speed chase throughout Chicago Wednesday night.



The suspect then he made his way to the Kennedy Expressway. He was involved in more than one crash before finally being taken into custody on the South Side. Charges against him are pending.

Juan Moran was near the gas station when the man reportedly stole a car.

"I was scared at first; I ran upstairs and I was like, 'you know what, I'm going to get to the roof and start trying to film everything to see what's going on,'" Moran said. "It was chaotic."

Matt Fusello was driving a friend home from the hospital, traveling west on Irving Park Road when they saw the crash.

"This car just comes straight at us, almost hits us head-on, probably going like 80 mph," Fusello said. "Weaving in and out of yellow lines, right past it we see this police car up in flames, just crashed like a truck hit it. It was pretty hardcore."

After the initial impact, police spun out and struck a second vehicle that had been traveling west on Irving Park Road and was stopped at the light. The male driver, 62, and two female passengers, 29 and 44, were transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair condition.

At some point during the chase, police decided to pull back.

"We want to see the video. We want justice," said Bibi Alvarez, the victim's sister-in-law. "An hour, who does an hour-long chase?"

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she's following the incident closely.

"Police pursuits are obviously one of the most deadly and dangerous exercises that police officers are engaged in, and we want to make sure that if that is necessary, it's done in very limited circumstances under full direction," the mayor said.

Chicago police issued a statement saying, "CPD is reviewing and still investigating this incident. During the vehicle pursuit, which began in Midlothian and carried into Chicago, officers were pursuing an offender who is being investigated in connection to multiple incidents. In the course of the pursuit, a marked CPD vehicle with emergency equipment activated struck a civilian vehicle. The vehicle's sole occupant, a 37-year-old female, was taken to the hospital where she later died. Three additional civilians were injured and taken to the hospital in fair condition for observation, when the CPD vehicle deflected from the initial crash and struck a second vehicle in traffic. The offender then continued to flee police in a stolen vehicle. The offender was later apprehended in 9th District after he fled on foot. Charges are pending.

"This is a devastating loss of life and our heartfelt condolences are with all those who have been affected. We are reviewing cameras and interviewing witnesses in regards to the criminal investigation into the actions taken by the offender. The entirety of this pursuit is under review and investigation COPA."
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