HAMMOND | Local police, firefighters and residents will deliver Easter to the family of a domestic violence shooting victim.
Canadian National Railway police, the Hammond Police and Fire departments, and several emergency response departments throughout the area will bring the Easter Bunny and baskets to the family of Renata Garcia Marquez.
An Easter dinner is also being donated.
Police said Marquez was fatally shot by her husband March 29. Victor Marquez, 38, was critically injured in what Hammond police said was an attempted murder-suicide.
Victor Marquez was charged with murder and remains in critical condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., where he's being held without bond.
"People might say, you know people are going to be with their families on Easter," said Eric Graf, a special agent for the CN Police Department. "That's why we're doing this, because these kids won't be with their family."
Anyone interested in donating to the family's Easter baskets can deliver donations at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Hammond Fire Station No. 2 at 2211 Calumet Ave.
Additionally, Graf said, any police or fire departments that would like to assist are asked to have their emergency vehicles arrive at 9 a.m. at the station for a staging area.
The police and fire escort of the Easter Bunny on Little Obie, CN's miniature train, leaves the station at 9:50 a.m. to arrive at 10 a.m. at the home in the 2000 block of Lincoln Avenue in Hammond.
The train will be escorted to the family home by about 30 emergency vehicles, Graf said.
Family members throughout the area are encouraged to join. Free rides on Little Obie and an Easter egg hunt will be offered.
To help spread the word about the event, volunteers plan to walk around the community near the family's home to hand out fliers.
Graf said he hopes the community will show support for the four children, ranging in age from 4 to 20 years old. They now live with their grandparents.
"You can't take away the tragedy, but maybe we can at least provide a distraction," Graf said. "And I think Renata would want nothing more than her children to have Easter baskets."
To make a donation or for more information, contact Eric Graf by mail at CN Police Department, 15840 West Ave., Harvey, IL 60426, or call (708) 332-5902.