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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.

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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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