Investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department, Illinois End of Watch: Friday, December 20, 2013


Cook County Sheriff's Police Department, Illinois

Investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada

Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department, Illinois
End of Watch: Friday, December 20, 2013

Biographical Info

Age: 50
Tour of Duty: 20 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: December 20, 2013
Weapon Used: Handgun
Suspect Info: At large

Agency Contact Information

Sheriff Thomas Dart
Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department
50 W Washington Street
Richard J. Daley Center, Room
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 603-6444

Investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada was shot and killed while intervening in a robbery, near the intersection of 30th Street and St. Charles Road in Bellwood, while off duty.
Investigator Estrada was attending a Christmas party at the VFW hall when he stepped outside and observed an armed robbery taking place in the parking. He identified himself and was reaching for his service weapon when he was shot once in the chest.
He was transported to Loyola University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
The suspect fled the scene and remains at large.
Investigator Estrada was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department for 20 years.

An off-duty Cook County sheriff’s officer was fatally shot outside a family holiday party Friday night while trying to stop an attempted armed robbery in Bellwood.

Cuauhtemoc Estrada, 50, was shot about 9:15 p.m. outside a family Christmas party at a VFW hall in the 200 block of 30th Avenue, officials said.

Estrada had come outside the hall when he saw an attempted robbery in progress and tried to break it up, officials said.

“The offender shot him and killed him,” Sheriff Tom Dart said.

He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he died at 10:08 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Estrada, of the 0-100 block of North 6th Avenue in Maywood, worked as an investigator for the county for more than two decades and was a former U.S. Marine, officials said.

“He was an exceptional investigator, but an even better man who loved his family, his friends and his country,” Dart 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 more than a dozen vehicles followed an ambulance with Estrada from Loyola Hospital to the county medical examiner’s office at 2121 W. Harrison St. He arrived at the medical examiner’s office at about midnight.

No one was in custody Saturday morning as Cook County Sheriff’s deputies and Bellwood police investigate.

A Cook County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot by masked robbers was going for his gun when the killers got the drop on him.

The tragedy took place Friday evening in the Chicago suburb of Bellwood.

Cuauhtemoc Estrada, a 50-year-old father of four, was doing what any father would do, trying to protect his daughter, when he was killed outside the Bellwood Veterans of Foreign Wars hall where he was playing host for his family’s Christmas party, according to a report in The Chicago Tribune.

The 20-year sheriff’s department veteran, known as “Temo” to friends and family, stepped into the VFW Hall parking lot at around 7:30 when he witnessed two masked men attempting to rob his 19-year-old daughter Christina and her boyfriend.

Though off duty at the time, Estrada confronted the robbers and reached to draw his sidearm. At least one of the robbers shot first, striking Estrada in the chest.

He was sped to nearby Loyola University Medical Center but it was too late. The grandfather of three was pronounced dead at 8:08 pm.

Witnesses said anywhere from two to four men fled the scene after the shooting, but as of Saturday morning, police had no suspects, according to Bellwood’s Public Safety Director Andre Harvey, who spoke to Chicago’s Channel 5 News.

Harvey said that whether the deputy fatally shot was attempting to stop the robbers with his service weapon, or his own personal gun has yet to be determined.

“He was always there for us,” said his daughter Christina, in tears, interviewed by the Tribune. “Now he’s not going to be able to see me walk across the stage when I graduate college. It just seems so unreal.”

The incident served as both a devastating and yet fitting way to go for the civic-minded Estrada, who was dedicated to improving his community not only through law enforcement but through such constructive activities as organizing block parties, even delivering coffee and doughnuts to neighborhood residents.

Estrada devoted himself to the protection of “not just his own family but his entire community,” his former sister-in-law, Patty Santamaria, said. “He fought hard to clean up his own streets.”

A former Marine, Estrada served in Operation Desert Storm, the 1991 War against Iraq, before becoming a Cook County deputy.

Estrada was the second sheriff’s deputy fatally shot in just two days. On Thursday, The Associated Press reports, a team of Burleson County, Texas deputies was attempting to serve a warrant at house in Somerville, a rural town 90 miles northwest of Houston, when gunfire erupted.

Deputy Sgt. Adam Sowders, 31, was struck and killed in the exchange.


1 Response to “Investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department, Illinois End of Watch: Friday, December 20, 2013”

  1. 1 A. Cari December 21, 2013 at 20:03

    Investigator Estrada, sorry this happened to you. 😦

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