Amanda Calo, a 31-year-old Chicago preschool teacher, was shot dead by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities have announced. 

Calo and her semi-estranged husband, 30-year-old Illinois State Trooper Antonio Alvarez, were found dead in a car on the city’s East Side from gunshot wounds. Police believe Alvarez killed Calo before turning the gun on himself. 

Friends said Calo had separated from her husband and was in the process of divorcing him at the time of her death. The couple had two children together, a 4-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl. 

“She was the most amazing young woman,” said Susan Sadlowski-Garza, a Chicago city alderwoman and Calo’s godmother. 

“Her laugh was infectious.”

Trooper Antonio Alvarez Kills Wife, Himself

According to a release from Chicago police, a passerby reported finding Calo and Alvarez injured in a parked car on the 11000 block of South Avenue East just before 2 o’clock on Monday afternoon. 

Both were declared dead at the scene by responding authorities, and a firearm was recovered from the vehicle, police added. 

The Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner later determined that each had been fatally shot in the head. Calo’s death was ruled a homicide, while officials said Alvarez shot himself after killing his wife. 

Police said state trooper Antonio Alvarez murdered his wife Amanda Calo and then killed himself.
Police said state trooper Antonio Alvarez murdered his wife Amanda Calo and then killed himself. The pair were in the middle of a divorce. Photo credit: Facebook

Local reports indicate that Alvarez was a three-year veteran of the Illinois State Police at the time of his death. 

Friends of Calo told reporters that she had just moved back to her home neighborhood in Chicago’s East Side following a separation from Alvarez. No other plausible motive for her killing was given in police and media accounts. 

Amanda Calo a ‘Shining Light,’ Recall Friends

Calo’s loved ones remembered her as a devoted educator, a steadfast friend and a warm, genuine soul. 

“Amanda had so many friends,” her godmother recalled. “Everyone loved to be around her. I can’t even tell you. It’s just so tragic […] This was her mom’s only daughter.”

The 31-year-old taught pre-K at Matthew Gallistel Learning Academy on the East Side and was noted by colleagues as being fiercely committed to her students’ well-being, inside and outside the classroom. 

“Our thoughts are with [Calo’s] family during this difficult time,” said Principal Kimberly Nelson in a statement Tuesday. “We are so saddened by this loss and will do everything we can to help you and your child during this extremely difficult time.”

Amanda Calo, 31, was a devoted mom and preschool teacher.
Amanda Calo, 31, was a devoted mom and preschool teacher. Her estranged state trooper husband Antonio Alvarez killed her and then shot himself, police believe. Photo credit: GoFundMe

Meanwhile, the Chicago Teachers Union called Calo’s sudden death a “devastating loss” for the school community. 

Her godmother said that Calo was active in community groups after school hours like Safe Kids Chicago, a “nonprofit dedicated to protecting kids from preventable injuries,” according to its site

“She helped mentor kids on the wrong path,” the alderwoman said. “Everyone loved Amanda.”

“She was just really proud to be from [the East Side], and really wanted to continue that,” said close friend Kate Garza, who knew Calo since they were in third grade. 

Garza said she’d tried to convince Calo to start a “new chapter” on the city’s North Side when she separated from her husband, but that the pre-K teacher didn’t want to abandon her neighborhood. 

“She said, ‘I don’t know, I just love being part of the East Side community. Everyone knows each other and I love the idea of my kids growing up in this tight-knit community,’” her friend recalled

Tyler Garza, Kate’s brother and another of Calo’s close childhood friends, said the 31-year-old mom “was a star.”

Loved ones said Amanda Calo was a 'shining light' and a dear friend to many.
Loved ones said Amanda Calo was a ‘shining light’ and a dear friend to many. Police said she was murdered by her husband, Ill. State Trooper Antonio Alvarez, in an apparent murder-suicide. Photo credit: Instagram

“She was like a shining light,” he remembered. “She would walk into a room, everyone would look toward her and she’d put a smile on their faces.”

Calo leaves behind two young children, a 4-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl. 

The Garzas launched a GoFundMe page on Wednesday to help pay for funeral costs and to benefit her kids. Within 24 hours, the page raised more than $96,000 of its $125,000 goal. 

If you knew Amanda, you knew she was an absolute joy to be around. Her smile was infectious and her unmistakable laugh radiated in every room she walked into,” they wrote on the crowdfunding site. 

“She was loved by many and adored by classmates, friends and coworkers alike.”