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updated: 12/21/2013 10:53 AM

Illinois deputy fatally shot outside Bellwood holiday party

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Associated Press

BELLWOOD, Ill. -- Authorities say an Illinois sheriff's deputy fatally shot while trying to break up an armed robbery outside a family Christmas party was a 50-year-old officer who was off duty at the time.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office tells The Associated Press that 50-year-old Cuauhtemoc (kwaw-TEH'-mok) Estrada died Friday night. The shooting happened at a VFW hall in Bellwood, about 13 miles from downtown Chicago.

Sheriff's officials released few details, except that the officer was shot when trying to intervene in the robbery outside the hall. They say Estrada is a former Marine who had been with the department for more than 20 years.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the officer's body arrived at the Cook County medical examiner's office around midnight.

Bellwood police and the Cook County Sheriff's Office are investigating.

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