Park renamed for fallen Chicago Police Officer Irma Ruiz

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty was honored Friday with a park renamed after her in the Archer Heights neighborhood.

The ceremony included a police color guard and bagpipes as the Chicago Park District renamed Walnut Park to Irma Ruiz Park, unveiling a new sign.

The 40-year-old mother of four was gunned down in 1988 by Clem Henderson. Henderson went and killed three others that day in a shooting spree that started at an auto parts store.

He eventually entered Moses Montefiore School on the Near West Side, where Ruiz and her 38-year-old partner Greg Jaglowski had just been called to escort a student home.

Jaglowski, who is now 68, shot and killed the gunman. He was at the ceremony this morning with Ruiz' children who are now in their 30's and 40s.

"It's one of those things you do think about every day in one way or another I think about Irma," he said. "It's just an honor for her and I'm glad they're doing this. You couldn't find a better person."

"Really the best way to describe it is bittersweet," said Irma Ruiz-Collins, Irma Ruiz' daughter. "It hits you at different times in different ways and we've had a lot of wonderful opportunities and we've had a lot of tears as well, so it's just a part of life. You have to keep going, but we're fortunate that we can remember her in such a way."

Ruiz was Chicago's third female officer killed in the line of duty. She's had awards, a Chicago school and a police horse named after her.

Now this small park in the city's Archer Heights neighborhood is the newest tribute. Her grandchildren said the pledge of allegiance at the ceremony which was attended by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. He says the city will never forget her.

Meanwhile, Ruiz' partner says one of the most important things he wants to remember is that no children were hurt that day and that Ruiz died protecting them.
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