Posted on July 14, 2022

Off-Duty Chicago Cop Shot, Paralyzed After Helping Break Up Bar Fight

Lee Brown, New York Post, July 13, 2022

An off-duty cop has been permanently paralyzed from the waist down after being shot “dead center in the back” while helping to break up a bar fight in crime-ridden Chicago, according to prosecutors and his family.

Officer Daniel Golden, an Army veteran from a family of cops and firefighters, was hit when at least 19 shots were fired as he walked away from the brawl he’d helped end early Saturday.

Daniel Golden

Daniel Golden

The off-duty cop had not been involved in the initial fight — and even helped protect the man accused of then grabbing a gun and shooting him, prosecutors told a Tuesday court hearing, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“This devastating, life-altering event has forever changed the course of his life,” Golden’s aunt Eileen Gorman wrote in an online fundraiser that had collected more than $775,000 in less than a day.

She said he was “out with friends and family” when “he did what all good cops would do and tried to break up a fight.”

“The event was over when one of the offenders ran to his car, pulled a gun out, and fired 20 rounds at the group as they walked away,” she wrote.

One of the bullets grazed the leg of one of the cop’s brothers. “Sadly, another bullet struck Dan in the back and severed Dan’s spinal cord, missing his heart by millimeters, resulting in him being permanently paralyzed from the waist down,” she wrote.

Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy told the court hearing that one of the bullets hit Golden “dead center in the back,” lodging close to his heart. Doctors have decided not to remove it for now, the Sun-Times said.

Golden’s fiancee, Casey Szaflarski, told CBS Chicago that her beau had “saved lives” with the actions that left him paralyzed {snip}


Police confirmed Tuesday that three men had been arrested, including accused shooter Bryant Hayes, 22, who faces a slew of charges, including attempted murder.

Justen Krismantis, also 22, allegedly handed the gun to Hayes and faces the same charges. Demetrius Harrell, 28, is charged with taking the gun from Hayes and firing it down the street toward Golden and others.

All three were denied bail.

Justen Krismantis (left), Bryant Hayes (center), Demitrius Harrell (right)

Justen Krismantis (left), Bryant Hayes (center), Demitrius Harrell (right)