Crowds of police officers, officials, family and friends gathered Thursday morning at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel to mourn Chicago Police Officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso, who was shot and killed on March 1 while responding to a domestic 911 call.
Thousands of Chicago police officers and other first-responders were outside the church, many donning the dark blue jacket and white gloves of their formal uniform as they stood in ranks.
Scores of police cars lined South Western Avenue, where Vásquez Lasso’s casket was set to pass under an American flag held up by two outstretched fire truck ladders before proceeding into the chapel.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot was expected to attend the funeral mass.
Steven Montano, 18, is facing charges of first-degree murder, along with two gun-related felonies and misdemeanor counts of interfering with a report of domestic violence and assault after Cook County prosecutors alleged he shot and killed Vásquez Lasso after a chase near his Gage Park home.
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Vásquez Lasso was among 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 while arguing with his girlfriend, grabbed her phone to stop her from calling 911 and charged at her, prosecutors have alleged. Montano ran away when police arrived, and shot Vásquez Lasso near a playground where children took cover under a slide, according to prosecutors.
Vásquez Lasso shot and injured Montano.
Vásquez Lasso was the first Chicago Police Department member shot and killed in the line of duty since Ella French was killed during a traffic stop in August 2021.
His widow, Milena Estepa de Vásquez, remembered him in a Facebook post, writing in Spanish that his death “leaves us with an irreparable hole in our hearts.”
“You dedicated your life doing what you loved, each day going to your job with a smile from ear to ear. Thank you for being the best spouse, dog dad, son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend,” Estepa de Vásquez wrote.
Hundreds of people also paid respects to the officer at a visitation Wednesday, including dozens of police officers and other first-responders in dress uniforms.