'He was the best': Family of fallen CPD Officer Huesca pleads for justice; public visitation held

A manhunt is underway for accused cop killer Xavier Tate, Jr.

Monday, April 29, 2024
CPD Ofc. Huesca's family pleads for justice; public visitation held
The community paid their respects at a public visitation for fallen Chicago Police Officer Luis M. Huesca on Sunday. His funeral will be held Monday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There was a massive showing at a public visitation Sunday as the community began the painful and emotional process of saying goodbye to fallen Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca a week after his murder.

The visitors came from all walks of life, with first responders making their presence felt, along with many other Chicagoans paying their respects to Officer Huesca. Their common message was a plea for justice to prevail in finding the man wanted for the murder.

Officer Huesca was shot and killed while in his uniform last Sunday while driving home in Gage Park after leaving his shift.

In a YouTube video released by Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police on Saturday, Huesca's siblings and parents spoke out.

"The only thing I want is justice for my son," Huesca's father, Emiliano Huesca, said.

Huesca's mother, Edith Huesca, spoke publicly for the first time. She said her pain is unbearable.

"I have no words to express how I'm feeling, how my family is feeling," she said. "This tragedy affects all my family. Without Luis, we will never feel the same. For me, as his mother, I've been asking for justice."

In the video, the Huesca family thanked the community for the outpouring of support.

Mourners came in and out of Blake Lamb Funeral Home in Oak Lawn Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Leaders from the Chicago Police and Fire Departments walked in unity to pay their respects.

"I was a police officer for ten years, and I don't know him, but I'm here to support him and his family," former Chicago Police Officer Bernice Granado said.

The Chicago Police Department is still hurting from the loss of yet another officer. Three have been killed in the last year. Families with the Gold Star Memorial Foundation said it is a grieving process they're becoming all too familiar with.

"It's horrible... I won't mince words today... we don't want to be here," sister of fallen Officer Thomas Wortham, Sandra Wortham, said. "We see each other every time we show up and just kind of shake our heads... it's really unbelievable... and it needs to stop."

RELATED | $100K in rewards offered for information leading to Xavier Tate, Jr., accused killer of Ofc. Huesca

"Chicago put your guns down, please, put them down," mourner Maria Torres said.

Torres' sentiment was echoed by many, who may have never met Officer Huesca personally, they but feel his loss nonetheless.

"The message of the cross is one of love and hope and healing," mourner Dan Beasley, who is from Detroit, said. "And we're shining light in this dark situation we have here. I just hope we can start a healing process for the city."

As the search for Huesca's murderer continues, retired Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy said it is time to hold elected officials accountable.

"Tragedies like this occur because of the lackadaisical approach to crime and public safety by those in a position of leadership," Roy said. "You take a look at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, their policy of not prosecuting people vigorously. You're talking about the SAFE-T Act."

FOP union President John Catanzara shared his thoughts on the impact Officer Huesca left on his family and others.

"Luis would literally drive to L.A. and back in three days just to go spend time with his niece and nephew and visit with his sister and brother in law," Catanzara said. "And he's sorely gonna be missed... this is a hole you just never replace."

A funeral mass is planned for Monday morning at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel at 10 a.m. He will be laid to rest with full honors. ABC7 will have live coverage starting at 10 a.m. on air and online.

Manhunt for suspect Xavier Tate, Jr.

A manhunt is underway for accused cop killer Xavier Tate, Jr. after an arrest warrant was issued for the slaying of Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca.

A manhunt continues Sunday for accused cop killer Xavier Tate, Jr. after an arrest warrant was issued for the slaying of Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca.

The 22-year-old is accused of shooting Officer Huesca with a 40-caliber gun, during what appeared to be a carjacking.

Rewards totaling $100,000 are now being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of Tate, Jr., who is from Aurora, Chicago police said.

Additional court documents show Tate, Jr. was arrested on March 6 on a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing in Olympia Fields. He was supposed to be in court for that charge on Wednesday in Markham, but he did not show up for that appearance.

Xavier Tate, Jr., is wanted for the murder of CPD Officer Luis Huesca.

Chicago Police Department

Crime Stoppers and ATF are offering a combined $25,000. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, the FBI and the Fraternal Order of Police are offering a combined $75,000.

Anyone that has information is asked to call 1-800-535-STOP or the CPD hotline at 833-408-0069, or email tips@cookcountycrimestoppers.org. All tips are anonymous. Crime Stoppers will provide a code number to possibly redeem the reward.

The FBI released more information about the suspect Saturday.

Tate, Jr. has a tattoo on the right side of his neck of the word "majesty" under a crown, and additional tattoos on his chest and body, the FBI said. He has ties to Chicago, Aurora, Olympia Fields, Champaign and Decatur, Illinois. He may go by the nickname "Zay." His heights is 5'11" and he weighs approximately 175 pounds.

Image courtesy of FBI:

On Friday night, the ongoing investigation brought police to the 10800 block of South Hale Avenue, in the city's Morgan Park neighborhood. Nearby residents said authorities surrounded a home there.

Detectives returned to canvass the neighborhood on Saturday afternoon.

"There was one police officer outside in the street, and he got out of the car and about five or six officers hit the block. They all went and surrounded the block," a neighborhood resident told ABC7.

Earlier this week, CPD had circulated a two-minute video compilation from four distinct locations, showing a man they describe as a suspect going from one gas station convenience store to another in the hours before the murder early Sunday morning. The suspect, described as armed and dangerous, is then seen walking in the area near 55th and Kedzie both just before and about 45 minutes after the murder. Police confirmed Friday the person in the video is Tate, Jr.

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