Wake to be held for slain officer
February 14, 2007 (WLS) -- A wake will be held today for Chicago police officer Jose Vasquez. He was shot and killed outside his West Side home early Monday morning.
Wednesday, a sergeant who knew Vazquez well introduced ABC7 to a man respected by so many.
Vazquez was ambitious with a long list of goals: Join the SWAT team, attend law school, eventually, get promoted. Wednesday night, Sgt. Wayne Wiberg talked about that, but also the special love and friendship Vazquez shared with his comrades and family, especially his wife.
Officer Vazquez and his wife Onelia shared something special.
"He meant everything to her and vice versa," said Sgt. Wayne Wiberg, Vazquez's former supervisor.
But now -- at 23 -- Onelia is a widow.
"I believe, with the strength of the family and friends, she'll get through it. We'll get through it. But it's not going to be easy," said Wiberg.
Officer Vazquez was killed behind his West Side home Monday morning. He was off-duty at the time and returning home from a second job as a security guard. Since personal items were missing, police believe robbery may have been the motive.
Wednesday night, members of Special Ops Team 4650 gave ABC7 an inside look at Vazquez's life.
"I've never seen him mad at anyone. And I've never seen anybody get mad at them. And that's even people we were locking up. He would joke and laugh with them just like he would joke and laugh at us. He was that easy going, that laid back," said Wiberg.
Vazquez was an eight-year veteran who spent seven years with his partner, Orlando "O.J." Sanchez.
"He brought harmony to people. He made other people work better. He made other people happier," said Wiberg.
That included team 4650, a police family on and off the clock.
"Some of them asked me, 'Sergeant, where do we go from here? I can't answer them. I don't know. I just don't know," said Wiberg.
A deep sense of sadness for a close family.
"Totally irreplaceable. There's nobody like him. He will sorely be missed," said Wiberg.
Chicago police and the family have been working together on funeral arrangements. Officer Vazquez's viewing will be held Thursday at Montclair Lucania Funeral Home. The funeral is at 10 a.m. Friday morning at Resurrection Catholic Church.
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