Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca Shot and Killed While Driving Home

Off-duty Chicago police officer Luis Huesca, 30, shot and killed while driving home from work. Incident highlights ongoing gun violence in the city and risks faced by law enforcement, even when off-duty.

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Rizwan Shah
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Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca Shot and Killed While Driving Home

Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca Shot and Killed While Driving Home

On April 23, 2024, off-duty Chicago police officer Luis Huesca, 30, was shot and killed while driving home from work on the city's southwest side. Huesca, a six-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was found with gunshot wounds outside his vehicle after officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert in the Gage Park neighborhood around 3 a.m.

According to Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling, Huesca was still in uniform but wearing something on top to cover it, as is customary for off-duty officers. He was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Huesca's vehicle was taken from the scene, but police did not confirm if the shooting was part of a carjacking, citing the ongoing investigation.

Huesca worked in the Calumet (5th) District on the South Side as a member of the Priority Response team. He was just two days shy of his 31st birthday when he was killed. "This is just another sad day for the Chicago Police Department," Snelling said, describing Huesca as "a great officer, a great human being."

Why this matters: Huesca's death marks the first fatal shooting of a Chicago police officer in 2024 and comes nearly a year after another officer from the same district, 24-year-old Aréanah Preston, was killed in May 2023. The incident highlights the ongoing issue of gun violence in Chicago and the risks faced by law enforcement officers, even when off-duty.

Mayor Brandon Johnson met with Huesca's mother and uncle to offer his condolences and support. "No family or community should ever have to suffer such pain," Johnson said, calling the shooting an "act of unconscionable gun violence." The mayor emphasized that the city is committed to apprehending those responsible and bringing them to justice.

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police has called for policy changes in response to Huesca's death, while community members expressed their devastation and the need for change to prevent such tragedies. A candlelight vigil was held outside Huesca's home, and the Chicago Police Department released a video from last year showing Huesca paying tribute to another officer killed in the line of duty, his friend Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso.

As of Sunday evening, no suspect is in custody, and the investigation into Huesca's killing remains ongoing. The violent death of the officer has had a profound impact on the police department, with operations grinding to a halt as they enter a period of mourning. Funeral plans for Officer Huesca have not yet been announced.

Key Takeaways

  • Off-duty Chicago police officer Luis Huesca, 30, shot and killed.
  • Huesca was found with gunshot wounds outside his vehicle in Gage Park.
  • Huesca's death marks the first fatal shooting of a Chicago police officer in 2024.
  • Mayor Brandon Johnson met with Huesca's family and condemned the "act of unconscionable gun violence".
  • No suspect in custody, investigation ongoing as police department enters a period of mourning.