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Illinois sheriff’s investigator killed at party

Published: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 10:28 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 10:29 p.m. CDT

BELLWOOD – An Illinois sheriff’s investigator was fatally shot while trying to break up an armed robbery outside a family Christmas party, authorities said Saturday.

Cuauhtemoc Estrada, 50, died Friday night outside a VFW hall in Bellwood, about 13 miles from downtown Chicago. Officials with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, where he worked, released few details. They only would say that one of the gunmen shot Estrada when he was trying to intervene in the robbery.

Estrada is a former Marine who had been with the department for more than 20 years. He worked in the electronic monitoring unit.

Bellwood police and the sheriff’s office are investigating.

Cook County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cara Smith said Estrada “died the same way he lives his life, which was protecting everyone he served.” She called it a “tragic loss to his family and to this department.”

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Estrada died at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood and a procession of more than a dozen vehicles followed an ambulance with Estrada’s body from the hospital to the county medical examiner’s office.

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