(The Post Millennial) – Earlier today, an Illinois state trooper was reportedly shot and placed in critical condition. The officer, now identified as 35-year-old State Trooper Gerald Mason has been declared dead.

On early Friday, the Post Millennial reported that the officer was shot while on patrol in Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway. A passerby used the trooper’s radio to call it in.

The Cook County medical examiner confirmed Mason’s death, describing it as an “officer-involved shooting,” and the Chicago Tribune says it happened around 1:45 PM on Friday afternoon.

Officers closed the inbound lanes of the expressway to analyze the crime scene.

The Sun Times described how a witness saw first responders pulling Mason out of the car to get him to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

“I [noticed]that there was an unmarked car coming north of town, and then maybe six or seven state troopers. Other officers transported what looked like the state trooper into the unmarked car and then they rushed down the expressway,” Gregory Sherman told the outlet.

State troopers and Chicago police officers had gathered outside the hospital’s emergency room, as Mason was initially reported to be in critical condition. But he didn’t make it. A large procession of law enforcement officers paid their respects.

The incident provoked this response from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

“We are still in the throes of the fallout of the pandemic, and many of the institutions that we rely upon to make sure that our communities and individuals are stable, and that they’re able to thrive, are still coming back to pre-COVID levels. And I think that’s a result of one of the underlying issues with the uptick of violence we’ve seen in 2020 and 2021.”

Lightfoot condemned the criminals who think of themselves as unaccountable and go around causing “havoc.”

This incident comes at the start of a state police initiative in the Chicago district area, where they’ll be adding upwards of 157 percent more manpower on the expressways during peak times of criminal activity.