Funeral mass for Chicago police officer
February 16, 2006 (WLS) -- The Chicago Police Department said farewell to one of its own Thursday. Officer Eric Solorio, who died in a car crash, was laid to rest in the morning. He received a full honors ceremony at Holy Cross Church on the South Side.
Solorio was so very young. Just 26-years-old and he had been on the department for just three and a half years. But in that short while he had become recognized as one of the bright young lights, an exceptional cop.
"This is an officer that grew up in this neighborhood and with all the lure of gangs, he avoided all that. At first he wanted to be a priest. He was talking about becoming a doctor but then found he calling and that was to be a Chicago police officer," said Phillip J. Cline, superintendent Chicago Police Department.
His family, friends and fellow officers said goodbye Thursday morning at Holy Cross Church, 4541 S. Wood Street, in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
On January 17, Eric and another officer were making a traffic stop when they hit ice and crashed into a tree. Officer Solorio suffered severe spinal injuries. He died twenty six days later, last Friday.
Thursday morning his old church was packed and the mayor was there to pay his respects.
"We hear so much these days about young people who are motivated only by money and material possessions. It restores your faith to encounter someone like Eric Solorio who was interested primarily in helping others," said Mayor Richard Daley.
They say he had indomitable spirit, a man and a copper who never gave up.
"Even when he was laying in the hospital after having his neck broken, being paralyzed, the doctors and nurses couldn't say enough about him, how is spirits were well and he was determined to walk again," said Cline.
Officer Eric Solorio leaves behind his mother, two sisters and a brother. Just two months ago he completed his work for a degree from Loyola University. He would have graduated in May.
Solorio received a full honors funeral and his star will be retired.
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