Officer Clifton Lewis' fiancée took to Facebook on Dec. 26 and proudly boasted about some big news:
"2012 will be the year that life will change for me. I offically said YES to my Fiance' Mr. Clifton Lewis ... What an awsome gift. ... Stay blessed and let's all make it into 2012," wrote Latrice Tucker.
Sadly, Lewis wouldn't make it to the new year.
As he worked security at the M&M Quick Foods on the city's west side on Thursday, a part-time job he'd only recently picked up, the off-duty officer took a gunman's bullet in the head as he tried to stop a robbery. He was 41.
"[They were] trying to make arrangements, trying to take it one step at a time. It's always senseless when it happens like this. Just the way of the world right now, which needs to be changed," said Tucker's father, Ron Tucker.
Latrice Tucker's 18-year-old son was there for proposal, paying tribute to Lewis on his Facebook page.
"Clift you was [sic] my friend and even more you acted as a father to me. You did what many wouldn't do and that's taking someone else [sic] child," he wrote.
At the newly-engaged couple's home Friday, Rev. Minnie Means of Emanuel Temple, A.M.E. in Westchester tried to provide comfort.
"My support is that you have to lean on God. That's what it's all about. You can talk to me, I can talk to you, but what it all comes down to is God is the answer. And that's exactly what I told them."
The 6 foot, 5 inch tall Lewis had eight years of service with the Chicago Police Department. He'd earned 81 commendations during his time with the force.
"Gentle giant. Courageous heart. Loved his family. Loved this community. Always gave 110 percent," said Asst. Supt. Al Wyzinger, who brought Lewis to the district when he was commander there.
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Lewis' killer. Tipsters should call 888-YPO-SHOT.
Clifton was one of two officers killed this year. Officer Hester Scott was found beaten to death in November, her body found in a sewer trap behind her Gresham home. Scott's grandson, Keshawn Perkins, was charged with first-degree murder.