A New York-based nonprofit that honors first responders has announced it has paid off mortgages on the homes of three Chicago police officers and two Illinois State Police troopers killed in the line of duty during the past two years.
In a news release, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation said it was “proud to announce its support of these five heroes who did not make it home to their families.”
The families include those of Chicago officers Samuel Jimenez, Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary and state troopers Christopher Lambert and Gerald Ellis.
Jimenez was killed in a 2018 shootout at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center with a gunman who also killed a doctor and a pharmacist.
In 2019, Marmolejo and Gary were walking on railroad tracks in pursuit of a shooting suspect when they were struck and killed by a train.
Lambert died last year when he was struck by a vehicle as he directed traffic at a crash site near Chicago. Ellis was killed two months later when his squad car was struck by a driver going the wrong way on a Chicago area expressway.
Tunnel to Towers Foundation was formed in honor of of a New York City firefighter, Stephen Siller, who died responding to the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001. By the end of this year, the group said in the news release that it will have paid off 250 mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.