Chicago cop facing involuntary manslaughter in fatal shooting of her police husband

The off-duty officers had reportedly been arguing when the woman threatened to shoot herself, prompting a struggle for the gun

By Jade Yan
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — An off-duty Chicago police officer threatened to shoot herself before a struggle for her gun left her husband, another off-duty officer, dead, prosecutors said in court Friday.

Jacqueline Villasenor, 39, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after shooting him Tuesday night at a residence in the 8500 block of West Winona Street on the Far Northwest Side near O’Hare International Airport, police said.

Friday, Villasenor appeared before Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz, who ordered her held on $50,000 bond, after lowering it during a hearing that was broadcast live on YouTube.

The married couple lived together at the home where the shooting occurred, prosecutors said.

Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said the two were arguing in their bedroom of their home over Villasenor’s “recent affair.”

During the fight, Villasenor produced her service weapon and indicated she was going to shoot herself, triggering a struggle over her gun, Murphy said.

The gun discharged once, hit him in the chest and pierced his heart before exiting his back and lodging in a bedroom wall.

Their 16-year-old son was home and heard “several loud banging noises,” then more and then heard single gunshot, said Murphy. The boy went upstairs and saw his dad face up and bleeding and his mom performing CPR. He called 911, said Murphy, and he went outside to wait for paramedics.

One of the paramedics told police Villasenor had said she and the victim “had a bad day,” according to Murphy.

Another witness, an officer with FBI task force who was also off duty and had a police radio on was the first officer on the scene, said Murphy. He found Villasenor leaning against a dresser and he asked if she was OK.

“No, but yes,” she replied to the officer, said Murphy. She wasn’t crying, and she allegedly smelled of alcohol. She declined a breath test, Murphy said.

At first, Judge Ortiz set bond at $100,000 but Villasenor’s attorney, Tim Grace, said her family was only able to come up with $5,000, so Ortiz lowered it to $50,000, to accomodate her financial situation. With a $100,000 bond, she would have needed to come up with $10,000 to be released.

“This is a tragic case obviously,’’ Grace said, before the judge set bond.

Grace, who said there was “such little evidence,’’ said the couple had been married for 20 years and she grew up in Chicago and attended Mother Guerin high school.

There have an adult daughter as well as the teen son. Additionally,she has been awarded at least one commendation and honorable mention for her work as a police officer. She had been assigned to the Grand Central District, in a summer mobile unit.

She had no prior mental health history and “is not a flight risk,’’ said Grace. This was a “terrible, just terrible,’’ event.

“It was the defendant who introduced the gun into the argument,’’ Judge Ortiz said before setting bond, adding that her actions make her a danger to those around her.

The man, 44, was shot and transported to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The shooting is being investigated by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Villasenor has been placed on 30-day administrative leave.

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