Mourners gather for slain CPD officer Andrew Morris Vasquez Lasso’s funeral

Mourners gather for slain CPD officer Andrew Morris Vasquez Lasso’s funeral

To those who knew him best, Chicago police officer Andres Mauricio Vasquez Lasso was a loyal friend and confidant, even if he sometimes seemed serious at first meeting.

To his mother he was “my police officer”, as she fondly called him. To some of his colleagues at the police academy, a friend fondly recalls, he was the officer who got into trouble for being late to class one day.

Family, friends and Chicago police officers shared emotional tributes Thursday at the funeral of Vasquez Lasso, who was shot and killed March 1 while responding to a domestic 911 call. Police officers filled the pews at St. Rita of Cassia Shrine Chapel for the service, Chicago Police Chaplain Rev. Dan Brand and Rev. Andres Beltran presided in English and Spanish.

Mourners paid their respects to Vasquez Lasso with the solemn rites of a police funeral. Under an overcast sky, officers and community members lined the streets, saluting as a hearse carried Vasquez Lasso’s casket into the church on the southwest side.

Bagpipers played outside, and scores of police cars lined Southwestern Avenue as Vasquez lasso’s body passed under an American flag held up by two outstretched firetruck ladders. Among those in attendance were Mayor Lori Lightfoot, mayoral candidate Paul Vallas and several aldermen.

“At times like this we are desperate. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told mourners, “We don’t believe anyone truly knows the sacrifices that are made, or the courage and bravery that it takes to run into constant danger.” “We don’t know if anyone fully understands the trauma of seeing people at their worst or the horror of seeing death, mutilated bodies, tortured souls.”

Vasquez Lasso, 32, immigrated to the United States from Colombia when she was 18. He enrolled in college and joined the Chicago Police Department at 27, said Brian Sprain, commander of the Chicago Lawn Police District, where Vasquez Lasso was assigned.

“Like many people in the city for the past few days, I’ve been trying to make sense of a tragedy that doesn’t make sense,” Sprain said, voice shaking with emotion.

Sprain said Vasquez Lasso was a humble and dedicated officer who was recognized with awards and accolades. He met his wife Milena Estepa de Vasquez at a restaurant and the two became inseparable. When her sister and niece moved to the United States about four years ago, there was “no question” where they would live, she said.

During the service, Beltran, a family friend, addressed mourners in Spanish, telling them the officer came to the United States with hopes and dreams to serve and do good to many people.

“(Vásquez Lasso) gave up his life for what he loved most: the police,” he said. “And he left us, and we said goodbye to him, not only as a Colombian, but as a friend, as a colleague, as a family man.”

Beltran asked why Vasquez Lasso’s alleged assailant had a gun.

“What is an 18-year-old doing with a weapon in his hand? What is an 18-year-old doing, threatening his loved ones? he asked.

Priest Vasquez beckoned Lasso’s family closer to the coffin, asked them to hold hands and prayed with them. Amid tears, the officer’s widow Estepa de Vasquez silently thanked God for the years she had been gifted with her husband. The crowd erupted into applause after a short song in Spanish.

Steven Montano, 18, is faces charges of first degree murderVasquez is charged with domestic violence and two misdemeanor counts of interfering with an assault report after Cook County prosecutors allege he shot and killed Lasso after a chase near his Gage Park home.

Vasquez Lasso was among the officers who responded to the 5200 block of South Spaulding Avenue after a fight between Montano and his girlfriend spilled outside.

Montano threatened to get his gun during an argument with his girlfriend, grabbed her phone to prevent her from calling 911 and charged at her, prosecutors allege. According to prosecutors, Montano fled after police arrived and shot Vasquez with the lasso near a playground where children took cover under a slide. According to police, Vasquez shot and wounded Lasso Montano.

During the rally, Saul Canteria, a friend and fellow officer, recalled Vasquez bonding with Lasso at the police academy. He hoped they would be able to spend more time together at work, he said.

“We’ve always been so busy,” Canteria said.

In about 15 days, he said, it will be five years since the duo started their policing journey together.

“You told me in Chicago that it gets very cold. You like to travel to sunny places,” Canteria said of his friend. “Vasquez, you’re in the sunniest place right now.”


#Mourners #gather #slain #CPD #officer #Andrew #Morris #Vasquez #Lassos #funeral

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button