A judge denied bond today for two men charged in the shooting death of a veteran Cook County sheriff’s officer. Both defendants are being held without bail and in protective custody at the Cook County jail, because of the crime.
22-year-old defendants Brandon Jackson and Gage Thornton said little while in bond court today.
Both men face first degree murder charges for the botched robbery outside the Bellwood VFW hall that claimed the life of off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s officer Cuauhtemoc Estrada on Friday night.
Officer Estrada was shot and killed by two masked men trying to rob his daughter and her boyfriend outside the VFW hall where he was hosting a family Christmas party. Estrada walked outside, saw the robbery, pulled his gun but was then shot in the chest by one of the men before he could fire a shot.
The two suspects, caught on surveillance camera, ran off.
Investigators followed footsteps in the snow to Jackson’s home just 400 feet away where they found a distinctive red jacket seen by witnesses, ammunition for the same type of gun used to shoot Estrada, and black ski masks.
According to court documents, both Jackson and Thornton have talked about their involvement in the murder.
No plans have been announced for a memorial service or funeral for officer Estrada at this time.