5 CPD Officers Honored For Bravery During Search Warrant Turned Violent

Lisa Fielding
June 11, 2019 - 2:22 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honored Tuesday five Chicago Police Officers that were shot at while serving a search warrant in March.

Officer Felix Batista recalls the night of Saturday, March 9 when he, his partner and three other officers were attempting to execute a search warrant to a suspected drug dealer inside a home in the 2700 block of West Potomac.

"In the distance I heard a pop, but we were banging the door at the same time. We didn't know what it was," Batista said.

The officers announced they were police and demanded the suspect open the door.

"When she refused, Officer Andres Cuenca used a battering ram to attempt to break open the door," said Phil Cline, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

"What the officers didn't know was that the door was barricaded from the inside and there were cameras that allowed the offender to see the police trying to get into her apartment." 

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honored five Chicago Police Officers that were shot at while serving a search warrant in March.
WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

Officer Cuenca had been shot in the shoulder, which bounced off his spine and it lodged into his neck.

"I noticed he became limp and he fell to the floor, the ram fell out of his hand, I knew something wasn't right," Batista recalled.

Batista covered Officer Cuenca with his body while providing cover against further gunshots coming from the apartment.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honored five Chicago Police Officers that were shot at while serving a search warrant in March.
WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

Officer Maria Kuc cradled Cuenca's neck to prevent any permanent damage to his spine; while Officer Cesar Valadez quickly took out his medical kit to bandage and clot the blood until paramedics arrived.

"It's one of those things I carried since I left the academy. You never know when you might need it," Valadez said. "My kit was attached to my vest."

Cuenca survived the attack.

The alleged shooter, a 19-year-old woman, who was a target of the search warrant, was arrested at the scene and charged with attempted murder.

Officers Cuenca, Batista, Kuc, Cabrera, and Valadez were honored as June Officers of the Month.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honored five Chicago Police Officers that were shot at while serving a search warrant in March.
WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

"I'm so proud of how they reacted that night. These officers don't just represent the best of the 25th District, they represent the best of the Chicago Police Department. This is one of the finest examples in the 25th District of officers," said Mike Barz, Captain, 25th District.

Cline said the execution of a search warrant is one of the most dangerous parts of an Officer's duties.

In 2018, the Chicago police were involved in just under 1,300 search warrants.

"Thank God we're all still here and he's still here," Batista said.