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Chicago Police turn out for fallen officer's son as he graduates from eighth grade

Fallen Chicago Police officer's son graduates from eighth grade
Fallen Chicago Police officer's son graduates from eighth grade 01:01

WHITING, Ind. (CBS) -- Nearly 15 years after he was killed in the line of duty, the Chicago Police Department once again showed support for the family of Officer Alejandro Valadez.

Valadez's son, Alex Valadez Jr., accepted his eighth-grade diploma Thursday from St. John the Baptist School in Whiting, Indiana.


Dozens of Chicago Police officers, including Supt. Larry Snelling attended the graduation ceremony.

Alex Jr. was born just a few months after his father was shot and killed while patrolling the West Englewood neighborhood.

The 27-year-old officer had been on the force for only three years and was working undercover duty on the South Side on June 1, 2009, investigating reports of gunfire. He was shot on the 6000 block of South Hermitage Avenue.

Chicago Police Officer Alejandro Valadez (Credit: CPD)

In 2011, the shooter, Shawn Gaston, was sentenced to 105 years in prison for Valadez's murder.

At his kindergarten graduation, Alex Jr. wore his dad's uniform at that ceremony.

All these years later, as he graduates from eighth grade and advances to high school, Alex said he feels overwhelmed by the support from the Police Department.

"It feels good," he said. "It gives me motivation to do big things to honor my father."

Alex said he plans to attend Brother Rice High School in the fall.

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