Hero Down: Chicago PD Officer Paul Escamilla Dies Of Self-Inflicted Gunshot

Chicago Police Officer Paul Escamilla served his department for 17 years.

Chicago, IL – Chicago Police Department (CPD) Officer Paul Escamilla died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Monday night.

Cook County Sheriff’s police discovered the 40-year-old officer’s body in the Bunker Hill Forest Preserve near Touhy Avenue and Caldwell Avenue at approximately 7 p.m., WLS reported.

The off-duty officer’s death was ruled a suicide, according to the CPD.

“It was shocking,” CPD 20th District Commander Sean Loughran told WLS. “This type of thing never really makes sense to the living.”

Officer Escamilla, a 17-year veteran-of-the-force, was “one of my strongest members of the team,” Commander Loughran told the Chicago Tribune.

“He truly wore his heart on his sleeve,” the commander added. “I don’t want to call him a teddy bear, but he was a nice guy.”

Officer Escamilla was assigned as an aide to 24th District Commander Michelle Rubino at the time of his death, CPD spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told WLS.

"He was very well-liked. A friend to many on the department," Guglielmi said. "This was very unexpected and is hitting the District exceptionally hard."

The highly-decorated officer was the recipient of “more than 120 awards” during his career, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a Facebook post.

“I am heartsick as we mourn the passing of beloved Chicago Police Officer Paul Escamilla,” Lightfoot wrote. “He most recently served in the Rogers Park neighborhood where he was revered by his fellow officers and community members.”

“No one should feel they are alone or think they have nowhere to turn, especially our first responders,” the mayor continued. “From the moment they put on their uniform, they answer a call that at any second may put their lives in danger.”

Lightfoot said that the city of Chicago should strive to “constantly strengthen” first responders’ support network and to “end any negative perception of reaching out for help.”

“Chicago’s first responders deserve nothing less,” she added.

Officer Escamilla leaves behind his wife, Stacy, and three young children, Peter, Katherine, and Leo, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.

His funeral service is scheduled for Sept. 23.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Chicago Police Department Officer Paul Escamilla, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Comments (19)
No. 1-7
Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

It would have to be an intense gravity of loneliness that would draw a person down into this region (although, I am guessing). Sometimes the danger for such a person in uniform comes from a different direction than expected. I saw it in friends, in the military. The sadness of this Officers demise will be outshone by the memory of his service. His family in blood and service will always love him.

bryantrent
bryantrent

So sad i think he was under a lot of stress

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

FBI time. This was not an appropriate case for the Chicago Police department to take on.

tfort
tfort

Is this what they mean when you hear, “suicide by cop”?

TWalters
TWalters

Suicide is not a heroic act. Suicide is the most selfish hateful act you can commit. Hero’s don’t commit suicide. Let’s save that word for the men and woman that deserve it.

pam2262
pam2262

You TWalters must be one of the most uncompassionate, uncaring, heartless and insensitive people around. Reading your comment infuriated me! Imagine how your words must hurt that family. Talk about selfishness! To share your opinion at the expense of others is cruel and the sign of a real jackass. Being a hero doesn't include only the very last act one does but involves a lifetime. Speaking of families, I know yours must be proud.

Luke001
Luke001

The stress is a very heavy burden to some who has nowhere to turn to. The sad reality is that this will become more common as society continues to demonize our heroes.