On December 23, 2013, Cook County Sheriff Investigator Cuauhtemoc “Temo” Estrada, 50, was killed outside a holiday party he was hosting for his family at the VFW Hall in west suburban Bellwood.
Temo intervened when saw two people trying to rob his daughter Christina and her boyfriend at gunpoint while they were carrying food from a car. As Officer Estrada pulled out his gun to stop the thieves, he was shot in the chest. He died at the hospital.
His children Araceli, Daniel, Christine and Desirae, his family and his community still mourn the loss of such a great man.
Commissioner Jesus Garcia said that Officer Estrada “was someone who truly cared for the downtrodden, who cared for the underdog,” and was a model of genuine humility. “Temo was someone committed to community. He will be missed by thousands and thousands of people,” said Garcia.
“He was a great person,” said daughter Desirae Estrada. “He was the best dad, but not only the best dad, he was my best friend. He taught me how to be brave, be strong and always succeed in life.”
Patty Santamaria, Temo’s former sister-in-law, said he was the pillar of his community. Temo organized fundraisers and block parties and fought hard to clean up the streets of his beloved community.
Temo was a former U.S. Marine and a 20-year veteran of the department. He had an extremely strong work ethic and sense of duty to his career at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office; his dedication to his job surpassed the hardest of workers, frequently leaving weeks’ worth of vacation time on the table in favor of coming in to work and support his colleagues in the field.