Prayer vigil held for fallen Chicago Police Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso, killed in the line of duty

Steven Montano, 18, has been charged in the murder of fallen Chicago Police Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso.

ByEvelyn Holmes and Maher Kawash WLS logo
Sunday, March 5, 2023
Prayer vigil held for Chicago Police Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso after shot, killed in Gage Park
A vigil was held for Andres Vasquez Lasso after the Chicago police officer was shot and killed in Gage Park.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It has been an emotional week as the Chicago Police Department and the entire city continued with another procession and vigil at the 22nd District on Saturday in honor of Chicago Police Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso, who was killed in the line of duty Wednesday.

Residents in the city's Mount Greenwood neighborhood joined others for a vigil honoring the fallen officer - where a message of hope and love was shared.

"Let us continue to do what the Lord requires of us in Micah. To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God, said Chicago Police Department Chaplain, Reverend Kimberly Lewis-Davis.

Although Officer Vasquez Lasso was assigned to another district, the remembrance was hosted by the Chicago Police Department's 22nd District as another way to celebrate the young officer's commitment the people of the city of Chicago.

RELATED | Chicago police officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso shot, killed in Gage Park; suspect charged with murder

"I know that he believes in something bigger than himself. He believes in justice. He believed in community," said District Commander Sean Joyce, with Chicago Police Department 22nd District.

Officer Vasquez Lasso was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday after responding to a domestic violence call.

In court Friday, prosecutors said Steven Montano had been fighting with his girlfriend when she called police, saying he threatened to get his gun. Prosecutors said Montano hopped the fence with a loaded gun and magazine, running from police and toward nearby Sawyer Elementary.

That's when officials said Vasquez Lasso jumped out of his partner's squad car to chase him, screaming at Montano to stop before he was fatally shot.

He had been with the department for five years.

Saturday, two of his police academy classmates received flowers in his honor, as many struggle with the tragedy.

"It does affect everybody because we care about each other and we care about the people we serve in the city," said retired CPD sergeant, Lee Bielecki.

WATCH: Mount Greenwood vigil held for fallen Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso

A vigil was held for Andres Vasquez Lasso after the Chicago police officer was shot and killed in Gage Park.

"Just painful. It's just devastating. They are good people," said Patricia Cronin, a neighborhood resident. "They are out there protecting."

The power of prayer and love has been holding Chicago strong this weekend as the city continues to mourn the loss.

Another event in honor his honor held Saturday was about prayer and hitting the pavement, as a group participated in a 24 hour walk.

Robert Swiderski is a local leader of a nonprofit that hosted the prayer and walk at CPD's 8th District headquarters, where unity turned into therapy.

"I felt compelled to do something. I believe that God has given us gifts of time, talent or treasure. And, it's not for us to keep, but to give away," Swiderski said.

Swiderski is the son of a retired Chicago police officer, and has more officers within his family. He said the tragedy of this week hit close to home, making it even more important to rally around these officers and Vasquez Lasso's family.

"You know, letting the officers know that they are not alone, letting the family know that we're here for them," Swiderski said.

The walk will go on until 10 a.m. Sunday. That's when the group will end at the 8th District with another prayer.

The power of prayer and love is holding Chicago strong as the city continues to mourn the loss of officer Andres Vasquez Lasso.

Within the group are a number of supporters, first responders and Gold Star families who know exactly what Vasquez Lasso's family is going through.

Donna Marquez lost her brother 20 years ago. He was killed in the line of duty while serving a warrant in the 25th District.

"I would never have thought my life would turn this way, but it's okay, because I'm going be there as other Gold Star families are there for Officer Andres' whole family," Marquez said. "It was my brother's time to go. That's all I can think of, is because, you know, God has turned a lot of good that came out of the bad. They have a school named in his honor."

It's a sense of mourning that never really stops for these families, and for these officers. But, with love and prayer, everyone moves forward together.

SEE ALSO | Impact of Chicago police officer's murder ripples through first responders' families

"Officer Andres Vasquez Lasso was not only our protector, but he was our neighbor. He is from this community, and he worked in this community. And now, more than ever, we need to come together as a community to support his family, because they're our family," said 23rd Ward Alderwoman Silvana Tabares.

Father Dan Brandt has ministered with the Chicago Police department for 20 years, and said in just the last 12, he has helped lay at least 20 officers to rest.

Visitation for Officer Vasquez Lasso is planned for March 8 at the Blake-Lamb Funeral Home in Oak Lawn. His funeral is expected to follow on March 9 at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel in Chicago. Times for each service have not yet been released.