Updated 12/23/13 – 11:18 a.m.
BELLWOOD, Ill. (CBS) — Two men have been ordered held without bond, accused of shooting and killing a Cook County Sheriff’s deputy as the officer tried to stop them from robbing his daughter and her boyfriend over the weekend.
Gage Thornton and Brandon Jackson, both 22, both have been charged with three counts of murder, and one count of attempted armed robbery, in the shooting death of Cook County Sheriff’s Officer Cuauhtemoc Estrada.
CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports Estrada, 50, was a father of four who was at a family festival Friday night, when he saw two young men trying to rob his daughter and her boyfriend outside the VFW Post 5081 in Bellwood.
Police said Estrada identified himself as a law enforcement officer, and tried to intervene, but was gunned down.
Estrada was a sheriff’s investigator for more than 20 years, and was a former U.S. Marine.
“He was an exceptional investigator but an even better man who loved his family, his friends and his country,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said. “Quite simply, he made this world a better place and will be missed by all whose lives he touched.”
After talking to witnesses to the shooting, and following up on several leads, detectives zeroed in on a home in Bellwood, and arrested Thornton and Jackson at Jackson’s home, on the same block as the VFW hall where Estrada was killed.
“It’s a huge relief. It’s really a relief, because we wanted closure for the family. It’s very traumatic to the family to lose a loved one so close to the holidays,” said Bellwood Public Safety Director Andre Harvey. “We wanted – before the holidays – to actually get the family some closure.”