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Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca, shot and killed Sunday, had eulogized fallen colleague last year

Tributes pour in for fallen Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca
Tributes pour in for fallen Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca 01:57

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca was shot and killed while off duty but in uniform in the Southwest Side's Gage Park neighborhood early Sunday morning.

Officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert just before 3 a.m. After touring the area, officers drove to the 3100 block of West 56th Street, near Kedzie Avenue, where the off-duty officer was found outside with gunshot wounds, police said.

Just a year ago, Huesca eulogized one of his best friends – a fellow Chicago Police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty.

It was just last year when Officer Huesca appeared in a tribute video for his good friend and colleague, Officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call on Spaulding Avenue near 53rd Street on March 1, 2023.

"Whether it was it was at work or outside of work, he did take the time to help others," Huesca said of Vásquez Lasso in the tribute video, and "he's one of those guys who deserves that star. He was proud to wear this star."

The tribute video to Officer Vásquez Lasso now holds a whole new meeting for those who knew both officers.

A year later, Officer Huesca's own words to describe his fallen colleague have become a chilling reminder of the challenges police officers face each day on the job.

Huesca, a six-year veteran from the force, was just two days away from his 31st birthday.

He worked in the Calumet (5th) District on the South Side as a member of the Priority Response team – and is the first officer in the department to be killed this year.

Fellow Officer Aréanah Preston was also shot and killed in the 8100 block of South Blackstone Avenue last year in a similar fashion to Huesca. She was getting off her shift and returning to her home in the Avalon Park neighborhood at the time.

The latest tragedy has prompted a strong response from the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, calling for policy changes.

"If they will do that to a Chicago Police officer, what does anybody think the average citizen stands a chance in any of these situations - because you do not?" said FOP Lodge 7 President John Catanzara.

Officer Huesca is survived by his mother and an uncle. Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement that he visited both of them on Sunday - offering the family his full support as they grieve their loss.

Funeral plans for Officer Huesca have not yet been announced.

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