Off-duty Cook County Sheriff`s deputy fatally shot in Bellwood - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Off-duty Cook County Sheriff`s deputy fatally shot in Bellwood

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(Cook County Sheriff's Office) (Cook County Sheriff's Office)
(FOX 32's Craig Wall) (FOX 32's Craig Wall)
(Cook County Sheriff's Office) (Cook County Sheriff's Office)
(FOX 32's Craig Wall) (FOX 32's Craig Wall)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

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.

The father of four and grandfather of three was getting ready for the gathering when he walked outside and saw the armed men trying to rob his daughter and her boyfriend. Police said Estrada identified himself and tried to intervene, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

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

After Estrada was shot, his son grabbed his gun and fired in the direction of the robbers to protect his sister but missed, Hector Santamaria, a relative, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

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."

"He won't be able to see me walking across the stage when I graduate from college," Estrada's daughter Cristina Estrada, 19, wearing a pendant in the shape of her father's badge around her neck, told NBC5 in tears outside the family home in Maywood. "He was just a good person, a father. He was always there for us. He just wanted us to succeed in life."

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.

The Chicago Sun-Times Media wire contributed to this report.

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