‘He Was a Great Man’: Slain Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca Remembered, Celebrated During Funeral

Video: Police Superintendent Larry Snelling speaks at the funeral of Officer Luis Huesca on April 29, 2024.

Scores of officers and police officials joined the family and friends of Luis Huesca inside St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel on the city’s Southwest Side during the fallen Chicago police officers’ funeral Monday.

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The services came just over a week after the 30-year-old officer was fatally shot as he returned to his Gage Park home following a shift last weekend.

“Luis left a great impression on not only everyone sitting here, especially his team, but he’s leaving an impression on the entire country,” Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said.

Huesca’s family described him as a “kind soul,” who always wanted to protect the innocent.

Other CPD officials shared stories about Huesca’s humor and his sense of respect for those he worked with and dealt with on the job.

Huesca’s brother, Emiliano, called Luis his travel buddy and said they went to places all over the U.S. and the world.

He recalled traveling with Luis through Morocco in Northern Africa when a traffic accident occurred right in front of them. Emiliano said his brother jumped into action and tried to assist local officials and an injured woman, even though he could barely speak their language.

“He always put others first,” Emiliano Huesca Jr. said. “He took so much pride in taking care of my mother and he took so much pride in us.”

Snelling also shared a story about a young Huesca stepping in to help protect a domestic violence victim before he joined the police department, and said the officer “was trying to always leave things better than he found him.”

“This is the reason Luis was a great police officer,” Snelling said, “It was because at his core, he was a great man.”

Officer Luis M. Huesca (Chicago Police Department / Youtube)Officer Luis M. Huesca (Chicago Police Department / Youtube)

Huesca was fatally shot on April 21 — two days before his 31st birthday — at around 3 a.m. as he returned home following his shift.

Police said officers responding to a report of shots fired drove to the 3100 block of West 56th Street, where they discovered Huesca outside with gunshot wounds. He was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Mayor Brandon Johnson was not in attendance at the funeral. He opted not to go after Huesca’s mother passed a message to him through Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, saying Johnson was “unwelcome at her son's funeral.”

Johnson’s public schedule for Monday initially showed that he would attend, but he changed course early Monday, saying “My heart is with the Huesca family today. God bless them and God bless the City of Chicago.”

“We continue to send our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Officer Luis Huesca as they heal from the loss of their beloved son, nephew, brother and friend,” Johnson said in a statement. “As mayor, I vow to continue supporting our police and first responders, uniting our city and remaining committed to working with everyone towards building a better, stronger, safer Chicago.”

After Johnson switched his plans, Mendoza posted on social media that she was “heartened to hear” that he is “respecting the Huesca family’s wishes.”

The Chicago Police Department over the weekend announced that an arrest warrant had been issued for 22-year-old Xavier L. Tate Jr., the suspect accused of killing Huesca. He has not yet been taken into custody.

“We’re going to continue to work diligently until we take this individual into custody,” he said. “At some point we will get justice for this family.”

Several local organizations have offered rewards totaling $100,000 for information leading to Tate’s arrest and conviction.

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