For what seems like the 100th time in the first three months of this year, we sadly received news this weekend of another member of the law enforcement community being gunned down.

While he was off-duty, Chicago Police Officer John P. Rivera was shot and killed while sitting in the car with friends after work.

Rivera, 23, had recently finished a shift in which he consoled the family of a murder victim in his district.

After finishing the paperwork on the homicide investigation and closing out his shift, Rivera went with friends to the Stout Barrel House nightclub.

At approximately 3:30 am, Rivera and two others were sitting in the car talking. Two unidentified individuals approached the car and opened fire, striking Rivera and the passenger in the back seat before fleeing the scene.

Rivera was shot in the chest, arm and mouth. Rivera was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The other victim was in the hospital and in critical condition but was expected to survive his wounds. Another off-duty officer and a woman also in the car were not wounded in the attack.

According to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the attack appeared to be completely random.

“This appears to be an unprovoked attack against a group of individuals that went to unwind on a Friday night,” said Superintendent Johnson.

Nothing was taken from the car and the groups did not seem to have encountered each other earlier in the evening.

According to the Chicago CBS affiliate, there are twelve detectives working to find out who shot Rivera. A person of interest was in custody and the Chicago PD was searching for other suspects, to include the shooter. Superintendent Johnson said that they are looking at surveillance video from the area.

“Mark my words, we will find them,” he warned.

Rivera had served the CPD for two years and was assigned to the 6th District.

Whether through ambush, targeting, shoot-outs, or victim of circumstance/location, we see too many headlines and stories surrounding another fallen hero. For the record, one is too many.

While violence is inherent in the law enforcement career field, losing a single officer is still one too many. The good guys are supposed to win. Evil is not supposed to triumph.

While the side of justice and law/order must prevail, it should not be a war of attrition. As someone with multiple family members and many friends that are LEOs, I get sick to my stomach at the thought of one more officer losing their life.

To simply chalk up officer’s deaths as just ‘par for the course’ is unacceptable. The fact that officers COULD lose their life does not mean that they SHOULD lose their life. Enough is enough!

To some, the incident in Chicago Saturday morning may be just another story about someone in the wrong place at the wrong time. My hopes and prayers are that this officer and others like him never just be a statistic or forgotten news story.