CPD makes high-profile arrests amid spike in downtown crime, search for next top cop

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck spoke Thursday night -- after a board meeting -- on the sudden spike in crime downtown, even announcing an arrest in a shooting that happened Monday in the Loop.

Beck announced the arrest of 23-year old Cathery Torrez in a triple-shooting that happened in the tunnel that connects the Blue and Red Line subway stations in the Loop. The shooting killed one and injured three and Beck said there were two 6-month-old twins in the group targeted that fortunately weren't hit. Beck said this was a targeted shooting, and that Torrez had history with his victims.

Beck also said he and Mayor Lori Lightfoot will soon announce some major changes in security throughout the CTA System.

Beck also talked about some new crime statistics. Calling it a difficult start to 2020, there have been 56 homicides so far this year, which is 15 more than at this time last year. There have also been "more than double" the number of juvenile murder victims so far this year than on February 20 of last year.

The board meeting also came on a bad crime day for downtown Chicago. Over the last 24 hours alone, there were four dramatic robberies on the Mag Mile -- "takeover robberies" -- where groups rushed stores and grabbed as much merchandise as possible. Louis Vuitton and Neiman Marcus were both hit in smash-and-grabs, and the Mag Mile H&M store was robbed twice in the same day.

Questions are still swirling over who will replace Interim Superintendent Beck. A short-list is slowly emerging, though.

Members of the Chicago Police Board are in the process reviewing applications from a pool of 25 possible candidates. One name getting a lot of buzz is Kristan Ziman, who's the Aurora Police Chief and is known for guiding that community and police department in the wake of the workplace mass shooting. There's also Sean Malinowski, who is actually Charlie Beck's former Chief of Staff at the LAPD. The Tribune reports he's a finalist in this process.

There is also Earnest Cato, who is right now a Deputy Chief for CPD. He is seen as a rising star in the department.

There is also David Brown, who is the former Chief of Police in Dallas.

Beck told FOX 32 that he wants the very best person to take the job of top cop, and that he has great affection for the city.

Here's how it works from here: the CPD Board will narrow it down to three candidates and present that list to Mayor Lightfoot, who will then make the final call.