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Cuauhtemoc Estrada, Off-Duty Sheriff's Deputy, Shot And Killed While Coming To Family's Aid

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Officials say they have multiple suspects in custody after a Cook County Sheriff's Deputy was shot and killed Friday night trying to stop an armed robbery in suburban Chicago.

Police and family say Cuauhtemoc Estrada was at a family holiday party at a Bellwood, Ill. VFW when he reportedly saw two men in ski masks trying to rob his daughter and her boyfriend at gunpoint in the parking lot around 7:30 p.m., the Tribune reports.

Estrada, 50, reached for his gun and was shot in the chest. He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“He was an exceptional investigator, but an even better man who loved his family, his friends and his country,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said in a statement according to the Sun-Times. “Quite simply, he made this world a better place and will be missed by all whose lives he touched.”

"He was an amazing person. All he talked about was serving people," Dart added while speaking to NBC Chicago. "He was one of the best investigators we ever had."

Estrada was a former Marine who had served in the department for 20 years, the Associated Press reports.

Though divorced, the Tribune reports Estrada remained close with his ex-wife and family, living on the same street and often "starting cars of family on his block" and delivering coffee and donuts in the morning. Estrada's former sister-in-law, Patty Santamaria, told the Tribune Estrada spent his life protecting "not just his own family but his entire community. He fought hard to clean up his own streets."

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