Funeral held for Cook County investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada

December 28, 2013 (CHICAGO)

All to say goodbye to a man killed while trying to defend his family.

"He was a beautiful man that touched a lot of people," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. "I worked with him personally for three years, he was amazing, we're going to miss him."

Fifty-year-old Cuauhtemoc Estrada, a veteran Cook County Sheriff investigator and former Marine, was shot and killed last Friday.

He was at his family Christmas party at the VFW Hall in Bellwood when he saw two masked men try to rob his daughter and her boyfriend at gunpoint in the parking lot. When he intervened, he was shot in the chest and died.

Brandon Jackson and Gage Thornton are now charged in his murder.

"It was horrible," said Donna Marquez. "I thought he was going to make it, (but) the next day he didn't. I hoped we would wake up to good news but it wasn't."

Marquez knows the family and came to pay her respects.

She knows the pain they are feeling all too well, her brother Donald, a Chicago Police officer, was killed in the line of duty.

"We are Gold Star members now and we're there for them, and we will be there for them," Marquez said.

The sober but moving ceremony brought together hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

They filled Holy Name Cathedral Saturday for the funeral.

The moving and emotional mass made many feel a sense of pride and sadness for a true hero.

"An amazing person, he served everybody from beginning of time until the end, the end where he was trying to save his daughter," Dart said.

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