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Funeral services for slain Cook County Sheriff’s investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada took place Saturday morning in Chicago.

Estrada was shot and killed December 20, in Bellwood.

He had stepped outside the VFW Hall, where he was hosting a family Christmas party and saw two men trying to rob his daughter and her boyfriend.
Estrada was shot once in the chest as he tried to protect them.

Brandon Jackson and Gage Thornton, both 22, have been charged with Estrada’s murder.

Police say they have confessed  to shooting Estrada.
They are being held without bond.

Hundreds of police officers, joined family and friends at a wake for Estrada in Hillside Friday.

Funeral services begin today at 10 am at at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.

Estrada will be buried  at Queen of Heaven Cemetery located at 1400 S. Wolf Road in Hillside.

Friends and family of a fallen Cook County sheriff’s officer will gather today for his wake.

Cuauhtemoc Estrada was murdered last Friday in Bellwood when he tried to stop two men from robbing his daughter and her boyfriend.

Flags across Illinois are flying at half-staff in Estrada’s memory.

The wake begins at 3:00pm at Russo’s Chapel on Roosevelt Rd. in Hillside.

Estrada’s funeral is Saturday morning at 10:00 at Holy Name Cathedral.

American flags across Illinois are flying at half-staff, today through Saturday, in honor of a fallen Cook County sheriff’s officer.

Cuauhtemoc Estrada was murdered last Friday in Bellwood when he tried to stop two men from robbing his daughter and her boyfriend.

Police say the accused killers, Brandon Jackson and Gage Thornton, have confessed.

They’re being held without bond.

A wake will be held for Estrada Friday with funeral services on Saturday.

The family of a slain Cook County Sheriff’s investigator has launched a fund-raising web site to pay for his funeral.

Officer Cuautemoc Estrada was shot to death Saturday trying to protect his daughter from two holdup men in a VFW hall parking lot where his family Christmas party was underway.

Estrada’s family will hold a wake Friday from 3-9 p.m. in Hillside, and his funeral mass will be conducted at Holy Name cathedral on Saturday.

You can find more information on the Go Fund site set up for Officer Estrada.

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.

Bond has been denied for two men accused of killing a veteran Cook County Sheriff’s Officer are in bond court this morning.

Gage Thornton and Brandon Jackson are both charged with first degree murder and attempted robbery.

A judge has agreed to put them in protective custody.

Police say the two were robbing the daughter of Officer Cuauhtemoc Estrada and her boyfriend at gunpoint on Friday night outside a VFW Hall in Bellwood.

Estrada tried to intervene.

That’s when investigators say Estrada was shot in the chest.

Estrada was a retired marine and a 20-year veteran with the Cook County Sheriff’s police.

Two men have been charged in connection with the shooting death of a veteran Cook County Sheriff’s officer who was killed while trying to stop a robbery involving his daughter.

Brandon Jackson and Gage Thornton, both 22, are due in bond court in Maywood this morning. Each is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted armed robbery, Bellwood Director of Public Safety Andre Harvey said.

Cuauhtemoc Estrada was hosting a family holiday party at the VFW hall in Bellwood Friday night.

He went outside and saw his daughter and her boyfriend being held up at gunpoint.

Estrada tried to intervene and grabbed his gun but he was shot in the chest.

Investigators say the two suspects were identified from surveillance video.

Estrada was a retired Marine and a 20 year veteran with the Cook County sheriff’s police.

Multiple suspects are in custody in connection with the shooting death of a veteran Cook County Sheriff’s officer who was killed while trying to stop a robbery involving his daughter.

Cuauhtemoc Estrada was hosting a family holiday party at the VFW hall in Bellwood Friday night.

He went outside and saw his daughter and her boyfriend being held up at gunpoint.

Estrada tried to intervene and grabbed his gun but he was shot in the chest.

Investigators say the two suspects were identified from surveillance video.

Charges are expected to be filed soon.

Estrada was a retired Marine and a 20 year veteran with the Cook County sheriff’s police.

Sources tell WGN-TV  a suspect is being held in connection with the shooting death of an off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s investigator who was trying to protect his daughter from a robbery.

A squad car kept watch outside the Maywood home of Cook County Sheriff’s investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada, 50, Saturday.  Christmas decorations are hanging with care, but the joy of the season is gone for relatives of the retired marine, father, grandfather, and 20-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.

COOK COUNTY OFFICER ESTRADA KILLED AT VFW HALL

“It just feels so unreal,” said Estrada’s 19-year old daughter, Christina. She wears a pendant with his badge number around her neck. He died while trying to protect her and her boyfriend.

“He was just a good person, a father.  He was always there for us. He always wanted us to succeed in life. Now, he’s not going to be there  to see me walk across the stage when I graduate college,” said Christina.

The party was Estrada’s idea. Since he had to work on Christmas, he wanted to bring the entire family together to celebrate a new tradition. Around 7:30 Friday night, Christina and her boyfriend were in the parking lot of the VFW Hall in Bellwood when two people in ski masks tried to rob them, police said.

Investigator Estrada saw what was happening and tried  to intervene. He was fatally shot before he could pull his service weapon, police said.  On Saturday,  investigators were back at the scene. Sources tell WGN-TV a suspect is in custody and was identified through surveillance video from the VFW Hall.

Statement from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office:

“It is with overwhelming sadness that we confirm Investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada, age 50, was murdered this evening in Bellwood, while attending a family Christmas party. Investigator Estrada served our county for more than 20 years and our nation, as a former United States Marine.  He was an exceptional investigator, but an even better man who loved his family, his friends and his country.  Quite simply, he made this world a better place and will be missed by all whose lives he touched.  We are working with the Bellwood police on this ongoing investigation.”

An off-duty Cook County sheriff’s investigator was fatally shot while breaking up an armed robbery outside a family holiday party Friday night in west suburban Bellwood, police said.

Authorities said Cuauhtemoc Estrada, a 50-year-old former Marine, had been attending a family gathering at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, which is located on 30th Street of St. Charles Road.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m. he stepped outside and witnessed an armed robbery taking place in the building’s parking lot, said Andre Harvey, Bellwood’s director of public safety.

The sheriff’s officer attempted to intervene and was shot in the chest while reaching for his weapon, Harvey said at the scene early this morning, as investigators remained on the street collecting evidence. It was not clear whether Estrada was carrying a service weapon or a personal one.

Estrada was pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center 8:08 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Police kept several streets near the crime scene closed to traffic into the early morning. Sheriff Tom Dart, who had known Estrada, remained on the scene hours after announcing the death in an impromptu press conference, emerging about 1:15 a.m. from a meeting of police supervisors inside a bank on St. Charles Road.

The sheriff’s office is working with Bellwood police on the case, said Ben Breit, a spokesman for the sheriff.

“(Estrada) was an exceptional investigator, but an even better man who loved his family, his friends and his country,” Breit said in a statement. “Quite simply, he made this world a better place and will be missed by all whose lives he touched.”

A procession of law enforcement officers accompanied Estrada’s body from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office.

As of about 1:30 a.m., no suspects were in custody in the slaying. Police did not say early this morning how many suspects were believed to have been involved.

By Adam Sege and Patrick Svitek Chicago Tribune reporters

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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