Pride and Heartbreak: Colleagues Pay Final Respects to Cook County Sheriff's Officer Killed in Crash

It was a somber Monday in Palos Heights as friends, family and fellow officers paid their final respects to a Cook County Sheriff's Officer.

Nick Theofanopolous was struck and killed by another drive last week.

In front of a Palos Heights church Monday morning the full dress uniforms and white gloves are signs of respect for a fellow sheriff's officer killed on his way to work last week.

"It's heartbreaking but you have a sense of pride," Chief Jeff Johnsen said. "We are laying one of our brothers down today, but with the same token remember him as being there for us being there for the citizens of the county."

Theofanopolous was at the wheel of his car headed northbound on Kedzie Avenue when a Jeep blew through a stop light at 99th Street, veered into his lane and slammed head on in to it, authorities said. Theofanopolous was killed.

The driver of the Jeep, 21-year-old Monzerat Perez survived and is now facing charges of driving under the influence and reckless homicide in connection with the crash.

"So as you struggle with it, you have a sense of pride, but you struggle with the loss," Johnsen said.

Theofanopolous' friends and fellow officers lay him to rest. He was remembered for the work he did protecting prisoners and the jail compound at 26th Street and California Avenue.

"He was a hard worker, he was one of our go to officers," Johnsen said. "He stood there with his brothers and sisters, wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for anybody. Unfortunately now he is taken from us and we will have to deal with that loss."

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