Hundreds paid respects at a visitation for slain Chicago police Officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso on Wednesday.
The line of mourners, including dozens of police officers and other first responders in dress uniforms, poured out of Oak Lawn’s Blake-Lamb Funeral Home for much of the service, stretching along the building’s sidewalk. Two officers on horseback stood sentry at the funeral home’s door. An American flag rippled above the solemn procession, hung from the outstretched ladder of a Chicago Fire Department truck.
Inside the funeral home, “you could have heard a pin drop,” former Ald. Bob Fioretti said. “I’ve never seen such silence and tearful emotion from so many people.”
The visitors included Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Ald. Matt O’Shea, 19th, said he came “to show his respect for a hero.”
Vásquez Lasso’s funeral will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel in the Ashburn neighborhood before a private burial. O’Shea called on residents in his southwest Chicago ward to line the streets during Vásquez Lasso’s funeral procession.
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“Officer Lasso was exactly what we want in the Chicago Police Department. He was so young, with a life ahead of him and a beautiful wife,” O’Shea said.
Outside the funeral home, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara Jr. passed out black and blue police mourning bands. Vásquez Lasso, 32, was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence incident, Catanzara noted.
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“It really highlights what Chicago police officers and officers across this country do every single day,” he said.
The mourning family, including the officer’s wife, is “catatonic,” Catanzara added.
“It’s a gut punch nobody’s ready for, especially at that young age,” he said.
For a group of “gold star” family members who have lost loved ones killed in the line of duty, showing up to support Vásquez Lasso’s family was a somber duty. The visitation took Dallas police Officer Cullen Gordon back to when his father, Chicago police Officer Michael Gordon, was killed in a car crash by drunken driver in 2004, he said.
“I don’t remember much of my dad,” said Gordon, who came from Texas to honor Vásquez Lasso and teared up as he spoke. “But I remember that day.”
“I remember receiving the death notification,” said Gordon, who was 5 years old when his father died. “I remember the wake. I remember the funeral. I remember everything afterward. And I remember the men and women of the Chicago Police Department making sure my dad was never forgotten.”