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A Chicago elementary teacher was fatally shot by her reportedly estranged husband, an Illinois state trooper who later turned the gun on himself this week, according to reports.
Amanda Alvarez-Calo, 31, was found shot to death alongside Illinois state trooper Antonio Alvarez in southeast Chicago shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Monday, officials said.
Their bodies were recovered from a personal vehicle in the 11000 block of South Avenue East. Both died from gunshot wounds to the head, according to a preliminary autopsy report obtained by Oxygen.com.
Authorities suspect Alvarez opened fire on his wife before killing himself. The deaths were ruled a murder-suicide by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Alvarez, a three-year veteran of the Illinois State Police, was off-duty at the time of the incident according to officials.
Calo-Alvarez had been in the midst of divorcing her husband at the time of the murder-suicide, according to those who knew the slain elementary school teacher. She was a mother of two children — a girl and a boy, ages one and four, respectively, family said — and a Chicago native.
“She was just really proud to be from here, and really wanted to continue that,” Alvarez-Calo’s friend, Kate Garza, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“She was the most amazing young woman,” her godmother, Susan Sadlowski-Garza, also told the newspaper. “Her laugh was infectious.”
A GoFundMe setup for the family has tallied more than $102,000 in donations to assist in covering outstanding funeral expenses, as well as to support the young teacher’s surviving children.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we ask for your prayers and support for Amanda Alvarez-Calo, her two children, and her family,” the fundraiser stated. “If you knew Amanda, you knew she was an absolute joy to be around,” the campaign’s organizer’s continued. “Her smile was infectious and her unmistakable laugh radiated in every room she walked into. She was loved by many and adored by classmates, friends and coworkers alike.”
Alvarez-Calo taught pre-K at Matthew Gallistel Language Academy in southeast Chicago.
“It is with deep sadness that we inform you about a recent loss to our school community,” Dr. Kimberley Nelson, the school’s principal, said in a statement this week. “On January 24, Ms. Amanda Alvarez passed away. Our thoughts are with Ms. Alvarez’s family during this very difficult time. This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for the entire school community.”
Officials said counseling services had been made available to students.
“We are so saddened by this loss and will do everything we can to help you and your child during this extremely difficult time,” Nelson added.
The Chicago Teachers Union, who also confirmed Alvarez-Calo’s death on social media, described the Illinois educator as a “proud Chicagoan.”
“Another devastating loss for one of our school communities,” the union said in a statement on Twitter.
Authorities haven’t released additional information regarding the open case this week. A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment regarding the active case when contacted by Oxygen.com on Thursday.
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