Police Department rules Officer Luis Huesca died in line of duty

The Chicago Police Department has determined that Officer Luis Huesca, who was shot and killed in the Gage Park neighborhood over the weekend, died in the line of duty.

The designation was announced Tuesday, on what would have been Huesca’s 31st birthday, and it entitles his family to survivor’s death benefits. In a message to all CPD members, Superintendent Larry Snelling said he’s recently spent time with those closest to Huesca.

“To his family, he was a beloved son and brother. To his family here at CPD, he was a loyal and trusted friend who led by example. To the community, he was a dedicated officer with integrity who represented the best of our Department,” Snelling wrote.

“Officer Huesca was a kind spirit who cared deeply for his family, friends, and our city. From all the stories I have heard about Officer Huesca, it’s clear he has left behind a legacy of empathy and professionalism.”

Also on Tuesday, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 released visitation and funeral information for Huesca. The officer will have visitation services on Sunday at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home in Oak Lawn, with his funeral to follow the next day at St. Rita of Cascia in the Ashburn neighborhood, according to the union.

Huesca, a CPD officer for six years, was returning home early Sunday after a shift in the CPD’s Calumet District (5th) when he was fatally shot. Just before 3 a.m., responding officers received a gunshot detection alert in the 5500 block of South Kedzie and they soon found Huesca nearby in the 3100 block of West 56th Street. He was shot several times and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Huesca’s vehicle was stolen too.

On Monday, CPD released surveillance footage depicting a person wanted in connection with Huesca’s killing.

Huesca is the third Chicago police officer to be shot — and the first fatally — this year. On Jan. 8, a veteran police officer was shot in the leg during an exchange of gunfire with a burglary suspect in the Gold Coast neighborhood. On March 21, an officer was shot by Dexter Reed, who was killed during a traffic stop in Humboldt Park.

Last year, CPD Officer Andrés Vásquez Lasso — a friend of Huesca’s — was fatally shot in the line of duty about a half mile north of where Huesca was fatally wounded.

In a remembrance video for Vásquez Lasso, Huesca described him as “one of those guys that actually deserved this star.”