Community rallies to help family of fallen Chicago police officer

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - At a time of tragedy, Chicagoans are offering a helping hand.

With ribbons, races and rallies, money is being raised for the family of Samuel Jimenez, the Chicago police officer who died during Monday’s shooting rampage at Mercy Hospital.

"We decided we wanted to do blue ribbons in his memory and show his family that we support him and them,” said Melissa McIntyre of Edison Park Chamber of Commerce.

What started as a small gesture of support in the hours after his murder has turned into a sea of blue in Edison Park. Blue ribbons are on virtually every tree, street sign and utility pole in one Northwest Side neighborhood that's home to many Chicago cops and firefighters to remember the life, and sacrifice, of Officer Samuel Jimenez -- just 28 years old when he was shot to death while trying to stop a gunman at Mercy Hospital Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday night, an impromptu fundraiser at an Edison Park bar and restaurant raised more than $5,000 in just two hours to help the fallen officer's widow and three young children.

And on Wednesday, people continued to come in and donate.

"It just tugs at your heart when you see something like that happen,” said Jim Cullen.

"He's so young with little kids at the holiday time. It just seems like the right thing to do,” said Ruth Bridgman.

Blue ribbons will line the route of Thursday’s 5k Turkey Trot through Edison Park, with some of the proceeds going to the Police Memorial Foundation.

"We put out over a thousand ribbons last night. People are coming in in droves just to take them for their own homes. It was just an amazing showing,” McIntyre said.

Monica Martinez, who went to school with Jimenez, is using Facebook to get out the word about a Saturday memorial in his honor at Forman High School, where he graduated in 2009.

"It's just to get everybody together to share their memories of Samuel. We want it to be positive. We know it's sad, his passing. Especially leaving his wife behind, his family at a very young age,” Martinez said.

And they plan to collect donations for his kids as well.