MemorialDedicated to the men and women of LAPA whom have served with distinction.
Joeseph N. DeLopez, Sr.
Founding Member and 1st President of LAPA
1923 – 1997
Joseph N. DeLopez was born May 28, 1923, in Yurriria, Guanajuato, Mexico.
He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II and later became a Chicago Police Officer in 1957. During his career, he also served as a Federal Agent with the U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development and was stationed in Central America. Joe was also an active member of Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #7, when it began the long struggle to secure a contract for police officers. When the Latin American Police Association was founded in 1961, Joe was elected its first president.
Upon retirement in 1991, Joe remained active in his new community of Deming, New Mexico. He served as a District Commander of the New Mexico American Legion and was Chairman of the Luna County Democratic Party. Joseph DeLopez, Sr. passed away in Deming, New Mexico on March 20, 1997.
Police Officer Alejandro Valadez #9534
Chicago Police Department – 7th District: Englewood
End of Watch: Monday, 1 June 2009
On June 1, 2009, Officer Valadez and his partner, Police Officer Thomas Vargas, were investigating earlier reports of gunfire on the 6000 block of South Hermitage Avenue shortly after midnight. As Officers Valadez and Vargas were questioning several individuals, a vehicle drove up and Shawn Gaston, 20, opened fire. Officer Valadez was shot once in the leg and once in the head; the bullet pierced through Valadez’s left ear and lodged in his brain. He was transported to Stroger Hospital of Cook County where he succumbed to his wounds later in the day. Several pieces of evidence against Shawn Gaston and Kevin Walker were collected. However the big break in the case came from an Illinois State Trooper, who, by chance, had stopped Gaston and Walker the day before the shooting in a 2007 Pontiac G6, the same car detectives believed was used in the shooting. Gaston and Walker were stopped for a seat belt violation and issued a moving violation. The traffic stop was also videotaped by the Trooper’s in car camera. Detectives tracked down the ticket and contacted the State Policeto to inquire about whether there was a tape recording. The State Police confirmed and turned over the tape to investigators. The car was later recovered by the Department’s Targeted Response Unit. Recovered inside were three guns including one in the trunk of the car that detectives believed was the murder weapon. A shell casing was also recovered in the car which matched those found at the crime scene. Shawn Gaston and Kevin Walker were later arrested and in a statement, Gaston admitted he was the shooter and that Walker was the driver of the car. Gunshot residue tests were conducted on Harris’ hand and they came back positive, while Walker’s fingerprint was found on a .40 caliber gun also used in the crime.
In September 2011, Gaston was convicted of the murder and attempted murder of Officer Valadez. He was subsequently sentenced to 125 years in prison. On October 9, 2013, Harris was convicted of murder and attempted murder as well as the getaway driver in the shooting, Kevin Walker, 25.
Officer Valadez was born on February 1, 1982, his funeral mass was held at St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church and he was laid to rest in Mount Auburn Memorial Park Cemetery, 4101 Oak Park Avenue, Berwyn, Illinois.
Police Officer Alejando Valadez was appointed to the Department on December 5, 2005 and received 1 Department Commendation and 22 Honorable Mentions during his career.
Officer Valadez was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Latin American Police Association. He was survived by his fiancée, Christina Rodriguez (CPD); parents; sister (CPD) and brother (CPD). On September 9, 2009, Alex’s fiancée gave birth to a baby boy, Alejandro Valadez, Jr.
Police Officer Eric Solorio #13609
Chicago Police Department – Unit 253: Targeted Response Unit
End of Watch: Sunday, 12 November 2006
On January 17, 2006, at 10:47 p.m., Officer Solorio and his partner witnessed a speeding vehicle near the intersection of 67th Street and Union Avenue. Officer Solorio was in the passenger side seat of his squad car as they were pursuing the speeding vehicle traveling eastbound on 67th Street. Officer Solorio’s partner swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle which had cut them off; they hit a patch of black ice and lost control of the vehicle. The car came to a stop after colliding with a tree, and then, a Church at 701 West Marquette Road. The officer driving the squad car recovered from his injuries. Officer Solorio was critically injured and rushed to Christ Medical Center. After surgery, Officer Solorio awoke and blew everyone in his hospital room kisses. Tragically, Officer Solorio succumbed to his injuries due to complications at 4:30 p.m. on February 12, 2006.
Police Officer Solorio was born on July 21, 1979, his funeral mass was held at Holy Cross Church and he was laid to rest in Ressurection Cemetery, 7201 Archer Avenue, Justice, Illinois.
Officer Solorio was assigned to the Targeted Response Unit and served with the Chicago Police Department for 3.5 years. He is survived by his mother, brother, and two sisters.
Police Officer Eric Solorio was appointed to the Department on August 26, 2002.
Officer Solorio was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Latin American Police Association. He was survived by his mother, Amelia; sisters: Richelle and Rosa and brother, Richard.
On September 7, 2006, Officer Solorio’s star was retired and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Sergeant Hector Silva #1760
Chicago Police Department – Unit 153: Special Operations Section
End of Watch: Tuesday, 2 October 2001
On September 30, 2001, Sergeant Hector Silva was participating in a special operations physical agility test. After sprinting two flights of stairs carrying sandbags weighing a total of 55 pounds Sergeant Silva began to complain of having a pain in his head and feeling dizzy. The exercise was intended to simulate working in protective gear while dealing with chemical agents. Believing he had a heart attack six weeks earlier during the training exercise, he went to Mount Sinai Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. Tragically, Sergeant Silva died from a cerebral hemorrhage during the surgery on October 2, 2001.
Sergeant Silva was born on August 4, 1965, his funeral mass was held at Immaculate Conception Church and he was laid to rest in Maryhill Cemetery, 8600 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois.
Sergeant A. Hector Silva was appointed to the Department on July 30, 1990 and received 1 Carter Harrison Medal, 1 Superintendent’s Award of Merit and 54 Honorable Mentions during his career.
Sergeant Silva was a member of the Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Latin American Police Association. He was survived by his wife, Victoria; children: Antonia and Miranda; parents: Anastacio and Carmen and siblings: Chely and Edwin (CPD).
In 2002 the Latin American Police Association, of which Sergeant Silva was an Executive Board member, renamed their Valor Award in his memory.
On May 24, 2005, Sergeant Silva’s star was retired and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Patrolman Donald Joseph Marquez #8620
Chicago Police Department – Unit 543: Detached Services
End of Watch: Tuesday, 18 March 2002
On March 18, 2002, at 10:00 p.m., Officer Marquez and his partner attempted to serve, Henry A. Wolk, 77, who lived at 2451 North Avers Avenue with an arrest warrant for housing violations. Wolk had 29 building code violations associated with his two story brown brick residence and was ordered to appear in housing court. He had been issued prior citations and had failed to appear in Housing Court six times to address the violations. In January of 2002, a Housing Court judge signed an order authorizing police to take Wolk into custody. Officer Marquez and his partner, wearing civilian clothes, arrived at Wolk’s doorstep. An upstairs neighbor agreed to help the officers persuade Wolk to open his door. The officers and the neighbor spoke to Wolk through the door for 10 minutes, but the conversation was “one-way.” After many failed attempts, Officer Marquez along with other officers battered down the front door of the apartment. Wolk fired through the doorway the moment the door crashed down striking Marquez twice with a .22 caliber pistol. Marquez was not wearing his bulletproof vest. Marquez’s partner and Wolk’s neighbor ran up the stairs for cover after the initial gunshots. Wolk engaged officers in a shoot out for 10 minutes which blocked them from immediately reaching and rescuing Marquez. Several backup officers arrived shortly afterward and Officer John Forte was able to reach the fallen officer and pull him out of the line of fire during the shootout. Marquez was carried to a waiting ambulance where he succumbed to his wounds. Wolk, who was holed up in his kitchen during the shootout, was shot to death by police.
Officer Marquez was born on April 10, 1954, his funeral mass was held at Bible Church and he was laid to rest in Resurrection Cemetery, 7201 Archer Avenue, Justice, Illinois.
Patrolman Donald Joseph Marquez was appointed to the Department in February 1, 1982 and received numerous awards during his career. Officer Marquez, was a graduate of Kelly High School where he played football, grew up in the back of the yards neighborhood and was a sheet-meal worker before joining the police department. He was a gang crimes investigator, a tactical officer in a unit nicknamed “The Wild Bunch,” worked in the mass transit unit before he was detailed to the city’s Law Department, where he served subpoenas.
Officer Marquez was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Latin American Police Association. He was survived by his wife, Maria; children: Alana, age 17, Carla, age 19, Donald Jr., age 13 and Maria, age 28; grandchildren; parents: Daniel and Mary and siblings: Daniel, David, Dean, Dee and Donna.
In memory of his heroic efforts the brand new Donald J. Marquez Charter School, 2916 West 47th Street, was named in his honor and officialy opened August 30, 2007.
Patrolman Irma Ruiz #16823
Chicago Police Department – 12th District: Monroe
End of Watch: Thursday, 22 September 1988
On September 22, 1988, at 10:15 a.m., Officer Ruiz and her partner, Patrolman Greg Jaglowski, were at Moses Montefiore School, 1300 South Ashland Avenue to pick up a student who had become a disciplinary problem when they were confronted by a mentally deranged gunman. The man had just shot four people, three fatally outside and at an auto parts store located across the street from the school. Officer Ruiz was shot and killed in the incident. Officer Jaglowski, despite being shot and seriously injured, managed to kill the assailant. Officers Ruiz and Jaglowski were credited with saving the lives of hundreds of young school children that day.
The incident began at 10:00 a.m. when Clemmie Henderson, 40, A heavily armed gunman went into The Comet Auto Parts store at 1334 South Ashland Avenue and opened fire killing Robert Quinn, 26, an employee and John Van Dyke, 41, owner of the store. Henderson then left the store and walked to the southeast orner of the Moses Montefiore School where he shot and killed Arthur Baker, 34, a custodial worker at the school and wounded Laplose Chestnut, 35, a city garbage collector. Henderson then entered the school through the front door located on Ashland Avenue where he observed Officers Ruiz and Jaglowski standing in front of the Guidance Counselors office a few yards into the school building. Henderson opened fire and Officer Ruiz was struck by a bullet that penetrated her heart and Officer Jaglowski was shot in the left thigh. Officer Jaglowski exited the school and went to his squad car to radio for help as Henderson went into an unoccupied room in the school to reload. Henderson then exited the school and was confronted by Officer Jaglowski on the sidewalk where both opened fire. Officer Jaglowski was shot again in the lower left leg and collapsed to the ground. As Office Jaglowski fell, he returned fire and struck Henderson in the upper abdomen and in the back. Henderson stumbled back into the school and collapsed a few feet from Officer Ruiz’s body. Officer Ruiz was transported to Cook County Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Henderson was also transported to Cook County Hospital where he died a few minutes after arriving. Officer Jaglowski was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was treated, released and eventually recovered from his wounds.
It is unknown what set Henderson off that day, but at 9:30 p.m. Henderson had went to the Chicago Lumber and Construction Compant at 1238 South Ashland Avenue looking for a job as an armed security guard. He was told that the owners weren’t there, so Henderson went to a carwash in the same building and sat on a makeshift sofa with his eyes closed for 15 minutes and then left. It was then that he got up without saying a word and went to the auto parts store and began the shooting rampage. Henderson had a history of mental illness and in January, 1973 was taken to Chicago Reed Mental Healt Facility by Cook County Jail Officials for evaluation. Henderson had served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam and was taking medication for depression.
Officer Ruiz was born on February 17, 1948,her funeral mass was held at Christ the King Church and was laid to rest in Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, 3801 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois.
Patrolman Irma C. Ruiz was appointed to the Department in 1976 and graduated from the police academy on October 18, 1976. She received 1 Department Commendation, 3 Honorable Mentions and 4 Complimentary Letters during her career.
Officer Ruiz was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, Latin American Police Association and the St. Jude Police League. She was survived by her husband, Peter; daughter, Irma Linda; sons: John, Peter and Phillip; mother, Lupita and siblings Bonnie Castellano, Elaine Bustamente, Louis Bustamente, Rebecca Frederick, Rita Salinas and Willie Yanez. Her father Willie preceeded her in death.
On Januray 12, 1990, in memory of her heroic efforts the brand new Irma C. Ruiz Elementary School, 2410 South Leavitt Street, was dedicated and named in her honor.