An off-duty Illinois sheriff’s investigator was fatally shot while attempting to put an end to an armed robbery at a family Christmas party, police said Saturday.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Cuauhtemoc Estrada, 50, was killed Friday night outside a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall after trying to protect his daughter and her boyfriend from armed robbers.
The attack happened in Bellwood about two miles from where Christina Estrada, Estrada’s 19-year-old daughter and other family members live.
“Now he's not going to be able to see me walk across the stage when I graduate college,” Christina told the newspaper. “It just seems so unreal.”
Christina said her father is a former Marine who had been with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for 20 years.
“I just don’t know what to say,” Estrada’s longtime friend Lennel Grace, 63, told the New York Daily News. “I’m going to miss him.”
Grace spoke with police and said that the suspects were living in a neighborhood nearby.
It was not immediately clear whether the unidentified suspects had been charged.
Grace was shocked to find out that Estrada had died, but wasn’t surprised to discovered had died a hero.
“[Estrada] died the same way her lives his life, which was protecting everyone he served,” Sheriff’s spokeswoman Cara Smith said. “[It’s a] a tragic loss to his family and to this department.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Estrada was taken to Loyola University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. A procession of law enforcement vehicles accompanied an ambulance with Estrada’s body from the hospital to the county medical examiner’s office.