Officials say they have multiple suspects in custody after a Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy was shot and killed Friday night trying to stop an armed robbery in suburban Chicago.
Police and family say Cuauhtemoc Estrada was at a family holiday party at a Bellwood, Ill. VFW when he reportedly saw two men in ski masks trying to rob his daughter and her boyfriend at gunpoint in the parking lot around 7:30 p.m., the Tribune reports.
Estrada, 50, reached for his gun and was shot in the chest. He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“He was an exceptional investigator, but an even better man who loved his family, his friends and his country,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said in a statement according to the Sun-Times. “Quite simply, he made this world a better place and will be missed by all whose lives he touched.”
Charges were filed early Monday against two suspects. Brandon Jackson and Gage Thornton, both 22, now face numerous counts, including first-degree murder charges. Police say they have good evidence against the two Bellwood men, but authorities would not share many details Monday. Prosecutors say Jackson was wearing a red hoodie and a ski mask at the time of the attack. Thornton allegedly wore a red jacket with blue sleeves.
Bellwood police say footprints in the snow led officers back to Jackson’s house. When the men were arrested — Jackson, who works at a moving company, was found with a black ski mask in the back pocket of his jeans. Police also found the distinctive jacket that Thornton, who works at a car wash, was allegedly wearing during the robbery. Detectives also say they recovered an empty gun box with cartridges missing.