CHICAGO — The second Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty this week was laid to rest Saturday at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel.
Officer Eduardo Marmolejo and Officer Conrad Gary were struck and killed by a commuter train while pursuing a shooting suspect on the Far South Side on Monday night. A man has since been charged in the incident.
Gary was laid to rest Friday. On Saturday, Marmolejo was eulogized at the same Catholic church as humble, hardworking and funny. The 36-year-old father of three was a public servant who worked as a medical technician before joining the force. He loved his pit bull and loved to make people laugh.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, his voice cracking, shared the story of how Marmolejo’s family first came to Chicago.
“He wanted to bring honor to their name, walking through the desert to a better life in Chicago,” the mayor said.
Gov. Bruce Rauner hailed Marmolejo as “a true hero for the citizens of Chicago and the entire state of Illinois.”
Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson described the final moments of Marmolejo’s life — and noted how overwhelmingly sad it was to have two funerals in two days in the same church, just before Christmas.
Johnson said “it’s been an especially difficult year” for the 5th District. Two officers earlier this year committed suicide in separate incidents. A third officer collapsed and died on the job.
Marmolejo was remembered fondly for the strength of the friendships he forged at the police academy.
His daughter Rebecca read a letter addressed to her father.
“I have so much to say, and no time,” she began.
“My heart is in one million pieces. … Every night I go to bed, I feel like you’re going to come home from work and drive me to school.”
She pledged to hold the lessons of his life — his humor and humility, his goodness and grace — close to her heart.
“I will remember everything,” she said. “Now that you’ve clocked out, it’s my time to cover the shift. Daddy, you were one in a million. You will always be my hero, my best friend and my dad. … This is not goodbye, it’s see you later.”
Marmolejo was laid to rest in a private burial service Saturday afternoon.
Marmolejo and Gary are among four Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty this year. Cmdr. Paul Bauer was shot dead in February while pursuing a person of interest in a shooting downtown. Officer Samuel Jimenez was gunned down last month in the Mercy Hospital and Medical Center shooting, which also took the lives of an emergency room doctor and a pharmacy resident.
WATCH: Full funeral at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel
WATCH: Procession brings body of Officer Eduardo Marmolejo to cemetery