Prosecutors say a four-time convicted felon on electronic monitoring for a Class X felony gun case pointed a gun at an off-duty Chicago police officer this week, prompting the officer to open fire on the man’s vehicle, striking another passenger.
Chicago police never revealed that someone had been shot by the off-duty officer’s gunfire, but that detail was one of many revealed during a bail hearing for Michael Martinez, 28, on Friday afternoon.
When the incident occurred around 8:15 a.m, Wednesday, the off-duty cop was driving out of a service station in the 2000 block of North Laramie with his two minor children in the back seat.
At the same time, Martinez was in the front passenger seat of another vehicle that was stopped at the intersection due to a red light, according to prosecutor Anastasia Harper.
Martinez pulled out a gun with a laser sight attachment and pointed it at the off-duty officer’s car, Harper said. The officer opened fire, striking the leg of the rear passenger in Martinez’s car. Portions of the incident were captured on video.
Martinez’s driver took the backseat passenger to a hospital, where a security guard noted the car’s license plate. After dropping him off, the driver and Martinez went to the driver’s house. There, they both changed clothes and left the home on foot, Harper said.
Investigators used surveillance videos and license plate reader technology to find the driver’s car, which had bullet holes in it. Officers staked out the car until the driver returned.
Harper said that the driver identified Martinez as the person who had the gun in his car. Police arrested Martinez at his home, where he was on electronic monitoring for a pending charge of Class X armed habitual criminal.
Martinez’s previous felony convictions include robbery in 2011, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in 2012 and 2015, and aggravated fleeing in 2019.
He is now charged with another count of Class X armed habitual criminal for the gas station incident.
Tania Dimitrova, Martinez’s private defense attorney, said he has two children for whom he is a “very active parent” and an “amazing father.” She submitted letters to the court from three people who described him as a good role model and a supportive and good father.
Dimitrova reminded Judge Kelly McCarthy that no firearm was ever recovered, and no shots were fired from the vehicle Martinez was riding in. She claimed the cop fired “more than 12” rounds.
McCarthy made it clear that prosecutors did not ask her to hold Martinez without bail on the new charge, which the state must do before an Illinois judge can consider holding a defendant without bail on the charge Martinez faces.
The judge ordered Martinez to pay a $95,000 deposit toward bail to be released on electronic monitoring in the new case. She also held him without bail on his pending case until the judge overseeing that matter reviews the new developments next week.
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