Attempted murder charge filed in North Center shooting, crash

An Albany Park man was ordered held without bail for his role in a shooting that left another driver injured in North Center this week. And, contrary to other media coverage and statements from the local alderman, the victim is not a 24-year-old female FedEx driver. He’s a 25-year-old man who was driving a car, CPD reports say.

Alexandru Mihai, 19, was driving a stolen Porsche when his passenger opened fire on the other driver in the 4200 block of North Western shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday, prosecutors said. The passenger has not been found.

The victim, who was driving an Acura according to the CPD incident report, never had any interactions with Mihai or the gunman before he saw them traveling in traffic with him, prosecutors said.

Alexandru Mihai and a photo of the crashed Porsche | CPD; Eric Tendian

He told police the Porsche followed him from Irving Park Road onto Western Avenue and then pulled alongside his car. According to the allegations, he then heard a loud “bang,” felt pain, and looked up to see the Porsche’s passenger pointing a gun at him.

The victim hit his brakes, and the gunman allegedly fired two more shots from the Porsche as it continued northbound. Surveillance cameras recorded footage of the two cars traveling, but the shooting itself was not within the camera’s view, prosecutors said. Cops allegedly found four shell casings in the street and saw three bullet holes in the victim’s car.

A woman heard the gunfire and waved down a police car to help the victim who had pulled over on a side street. According to prosecutors, other officers spotted the Porsche in traffic near Wilson and Ravenswood a few minutes later and tried to pull it over.

The car allegedly sped away from cops and crashed into a building near Giddings Plaza. Prosecutors said the gunman ran into an alley and got away. Officers at the crash scene said he was a man of an unknown race with curly black hair who wore a black t-shirt and khaki pants.

Mihai bailed out of the driver’s seat and ran through Garcia’s Mexican restaurant, 4760 North Lincoln, where several cops were having lunch in the otherwise sleepy eatery. WGN aired footage of what happened next:

Prosecutors said Mihai was carrying about 7 ounces of codeine and key fobs from three different vehicles when police arrested him. Investigators allegedly found two loaded handguns in the Porsche’s front passenger door area. One had a defaced serial number and a 24-round ammunition magazine, prosecutors said. Also allegedly found in the car, which was stolen from a residence in Aurora on August 13: 16 grams of cocaine, suspected Ecstasy, and suspected oxycodone.

Prosecutors charged Mihai with attempted first-degree murder, felony receiving-possessing a stolen motor vehicle, and felony possession of a controlled substance.

Just 20 days ago, Mihai completed juvenile probation for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, prosecutors said.

On October 22, prosecutors charged him with felony manufacture-delivery of cannabis after cops allegedly found 7 Xanax pills, one oxycodone pill, and 13 grams of cannabis in his car during a traffic stop in Ravenswood Manor, according to court records. He was also allegedly carrying $1,972 cash. Prosecutors dropped the case in December, records show.

“It’s a miracle that the victim was simply struck in the arm,” Judge Mary Marubio said after hearing the latest allegations against Mihai. She then ordered him held without bail.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ald. Matt Martin (47th) posted on Facebook that the shooting involved “two men [who] shot a female FedEx driver,” a narrative that other news outlets quickly picked up. Some social media posters even claimed to have seen the woman get shot.

Martin’s director of constituent services and community outreach, Michael Sewall, wrote in an email Thursday that he received the victim information from the 19th (Town Hall) Police District CAPS office shortly after the shooting.

“It’s certainly possible they were getting confused information since the incident was so fresh,” Sewall said. “I trust the recent reporting about the court hearing, and have a message out to the CAPS office to get clarity on this matter.”

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