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Two Law Enforcement Officers Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide

By  Erica Demarest and Alex Parker  | April 20, 2014 8:54am | Updated on April 21, 2014 8:04am

 A Chicago police officer and Cook County Sheriff's officer were killed Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide in Garfield Ridge.
Two Found Dead in Garfield Ridge
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CHICAGO — A married couple - a Chicago police officer and Cook County Sheriff's officer - died Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide in Garfield Ridge.

Authorities identified the pair as Javier Acevedo, a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, and his wife, Veronica Rizzo-Acevedo, an 18-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department.

The Acevedos, both 50, were found dead in their bedroom in the 5300 block of South Austin Avenue shortly after 5 a.m., officials said.

Veronica Acevedo appeared to have been shot by her husband, who then turned the gun on himself, according to Cara Smith, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.

Shortly before the shooting, someone inside the house placed a 911 call, Smith said.

Javier Acevedo was a corrections officer assigned to Division 8 of the Cook County jail, according to Smith, who added that the situation was "just an unimaginable tragedy any day, but particularly on Easter Sunday."

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Rizzo-Acevedo's death was "an awful tragedy for her family, her friends, her colleagues in the Chicago Police Department, and the people of this city, whom she served admirably for nearly two decades."

As police investigated Sunday morning, families in their Sunday best made their way past rows of police tape to St. Jane de Chantal, a Catholic church that sits just a half-block away at 5252 S. Austin Ave.

Neighbors said Veronica Acevedo was a member of the church's ladies guild.

"It's sad," neighbor Frank Farris said, as he pushed his 3-year-old daughter on her tricycle. "I don't know the circumstances — what they're going through."

Farris, 38, said he was awoken by "lots and lots" of sirens around 5 a.m. He said he felt empathy for the Acevedos because his mom is a retired Chicago police officer and he knows how stressful the job can be.

Most of the residents in the area are police officers, firefighters or city workers, neighbors and police said.

"Chicago is a very violent city," Farris said. "It's just getting worse and worse every weekend."

Another neighbor, who didn't want to be named, disagreed.

"When it's something intimate like that, it could happen anywhere," she said.

People who identified themselves as Acevedos' relatives declined to comment Sunday.

No further information was immediately available.