Bail denied for man charged with attempted murder in shooting of Lombard police officer after robbery

A Chicago man was ordered held without bail Saturday on charges of the attempted murder of a 33-year-old Lombard police officer who was shot while investigating an armed robbery Thursday afternoon.

Anthony C. Brown Jr., 31, didn't fire the gun, but because he is accused of participating in the tobacco store robbery, he can be held accountable for related crimes.

Brown, of the 7500 bock of South Hermitage Avenue in Chicago, has been in custody since Thursday on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery, aggravated discharge of a weapon and armed robbery.

The other suspect in the armed robbery, Pierre Thompson, was shot to death by the injured officer, Assistant DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Lindt said during a bond hearing before DuPage County Judge James Orel.

The officer, Detective Ryan Postal, a six-year Lombard police veteran, was struck in the right thigh as he exited his car. The bullet, from a gun modified to fire as a fully automatic weapon, shattered the bone. A rod was placed in Postal's leg during surgery Thursday night at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

Lindt said Postal's recovery could take as long as a year.

The other detective was not injured.

"We, as a society, must never normalize or accept the type of violent behavior alleged in this case," said DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin in a prepared statement. "We should be outraged at allegations such as these - that two masked men robbed a business at gunpoint and then, without provocation or even a warning from officers, opened fire on the police officers."

"This behavior cannot stand and, in DuPage County, we will not sit idly by while criminals terrorize our communities. We will respond with every legal tool available to control violent crime and keep our businesses, their patrons and our communities safe," said Berlin, who commended the injured officer, Lombard police and the DuPage County MERIT Public Integrity Team for their assistance.

According to prosecutors, Brown went into the Pipes and Tobacco store to case it, then returned to a car where Thompson was waiting. The two then put on gloves and masks and entered the store, brandished a handgun, and ordered an employee to open the cash register, authorities said.

The owner, who was in a back room, called 911 as the robbery was in progress.

After taking money from the cash register, prosecutors say Brown and Thompson took the employee to the back of the store where they encountered the owner. They ordered the owner and the employee to the floor "and, at some point in time, hit the owner of the store on the head with the gun before stealing the men's wallets and cellular phones, as well as approximately $600 from a file cabinet in the back of the store," authorities said.

The two men then left the store and ran to nearby Ann Street as police followed them, authorities said.

Brown was about 50 yards away when Thompson shot Postal, Lindt said, adding that Thompson fired seven shots at the two detectives.

Lombard Police Chief Roy Newton praised the officers who responded Thursday and wished the injured officer a speedy recovery on behalf of the department.

Officers "put their lives on the line every time they put on their badge, and it is truly unfortunate that one of our officers was forced to either return gunfire or be killed himself," Newton said. "I am extremely grateful that the officer is expected to recover ... I thank all of our partners in law enforcement who came to our assistance."

"Law enforcement works best when it works together" he said.

If convicted of the attempted murder charges, Brown could be sentenced to as many as 80 years in prison because the victim is a police officer, Lindt said. Authorities say Brown faces between 41 and 125 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

Brown will be arraigned Dec. 27 in front of DuPage County Judge John Kinsella.

• Daily Herald staff writer Barbara Vitello contributed to this report.

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