The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is committing to help pay the mortgage of Mission Police Corporal Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta, according to a news release from the organization Monday.
Killed on Thursday, June 20, during a shootout with 33-year-old Juan Carlos Chapa Jr., Espericueta left behind a wife of 21 years and two teenage children. Chapa, who local authorities say opened fire on Espericueta and another responding officer upon fleeing the scene of an incident in which the suspect shot at his mother’s vehicle, was also killed.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Espericueta family who is mourning the loss of a husband and father,” Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of Tunnel to Towers, said in the release. “We hope the knowledge that they will not have to make another mortgage payment brings them some comfort in their grief.”
The foundation has helped the families of 40 first responders stay in their homes since 2015. The organization honors FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, “who laid down his life to save others on Sept. 11, 2001,” according to the release.
The foundation calls on Americans to help contribute to the fundraising effort. Those interested can donate at tunnel2towers.org.
Espericueta will be laid to rest Tuesday morning with funeral services scheduled at Palm Valley Church in Mission. Since his death, the public and local law enforcement community have shown an outpouring of support for the decorated corporal who once earned from the city the Meritorious Service Award for rescuing an elderly man from a fire in 2016.
The New York Yankees organization also sent flowers over the weekend to the department and family in honor of Espericueta.