NATIONAL NEWS

Funeral services are held for a Chicago police officer fatally shot while heading home from work

Apr 29, 2024, 12:06 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of mourners lined the streets Monday to say farewell to a Chicago police officer who was shot to death while off-duty and heading home from work.

Police officers, firefighters and others gathered along the funeral procession route to St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel in Chicago to remember 30-year-old officer Luis M. Huesca. The six-year veteran of the police department was just two days shy of his 31st birthday when he was slain.

Huesca was shot multiple times shortly before 3 a.m. on April 21 on the city’s Southwest Side. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Huesca was in uniform but wearing something on top of the uniform to cover it as is customary for off-duty officers, Superintendent Larry Snelling said.

Police have said that officers responded to a gunshot detection alert and found the officer outside with gunshot wounds. His vehicle was taken, but police have not confirmed whether the shooting was part of a carjacking.

An arrest warrant was issued last week for a 22-year-old man suspected in the shooting. The Associated Press is not naming the suspect because he has yet to be captured and arraigned.

Police have said the man should be considered armed and dangerous.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s schedule released Sunday night said he would attend Huesca’s funeral but an update sent to reporters Monday morning said he would not be present.

The change came after Illinois Comptroller Susan Mendoza, a Democrat, said in an early Monday morning post on the social platform X that the officer’s mother asked Mendoza to tell Johnson he was “unwelcome” at the funeral. Mendoza said she and state Rep. Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar, also a Democrat, called Johnson on Sunday night to pass on the message.

“We continue to send our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Officer Luis Huesca as they heal from the loss of their beloved son, nephew, brother and friend,” Johnson said in a written statement Monday morning. “As mayor, I vow to continue supporting our police and first responders, uniting our city and remaining committed to working with everyone towards building a better, stronger, safer Chicago.”

Huesca was friends with Chicago police officer Andrés Vásquez Lasso who was slain in March 2023 during a shootout after responding to a domestic violence call. Huesca had honored Vásquez Lasso in a video.

Fellow officer Lucia Chavez said during Monday’s service that she was friends with Vásquez Lasso and Huesca.

“When we were at the academy, I remember … that during our training the instructor said ‘this uniform makes us family. If one fell, we all fell,’” Chavez said. “I didn’t understand that. Now, I do. I lost Andrés first. And now, Luis. I lost my two classmates, my best friends, my brothers. The violence in this city took them away from me, from us.”

Snelling, the superintendent, said Huesca “left an impression.”

“He was always trying to leave things better than he found them,” Snelling said. “The protection of others is what he wanted every single day.”

Huesca was born in Chicago’s Avondale community. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago, according to his obituary.

He is survived by his parents, Emiliano and Edith Huesca; a sister, Liliana O’Brien; and a brother, Emiliano Huesca Jr.

———-

Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.

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Funeral services are held for a Chicago police officer fatally shot while heading home from work