CHICAGO (CBS) – They had roles more important than police officers: They were dads and husbands.
Officer Conrad Gary was father to a baby girl, just six months old.
Officer Eduardo Marmolejo leaves behind a wife and three girls, one just three years old.
Neighbors and friends of Gary spent the night draping blue ribbons on the trees in Oak Lawn Tuesday after the two Chicago Police officers were fatally struck by a train while on duty. It’s a dark contrast to the bright Christmas lights in the neighborhood where Gary grew up.
Katie Zawisza, a family friend of Gary, said she was helping “to show support to the Garys and Conrad.”
Gary, a Chicago Police officer for 18 months, previously served in the air force.
The 31-year-old was married to his wife Kelly. They were new parents to 6-month-old Tess.
“He was a great guy,” Zawisza said. “I grew up with him. He was always friends with everyone, always laughing. So sad he’s leaving behind a wife and beautiful daughter.”
Jose Magana was lifelong friends with Marmolejo.
“He’s like my brother,” Magana said.
The two talked Monday afternoon. Marmolejo was known to friends as Lalo.
“I’m glad he called,” Magana said. “It was kind of like a goodbye.”
They talked for 10 minutes.
“I said, ‘All right, brother. Be safe, and I will talk to you next time,’” Magana said.
It was their final call.
About three hours later Marmolejo, a husband and father to three girls, was hit and killed by a South Shore commuter train alongside his partner Gary while responding to a call in the Rosemoor neighborhood.
“It’s devastating and just one of those things where it catches you by surprise,” Magana said. “The world lost a good guy.”