Man charged with trying to kill off-duty Chicago cop after stealing the officer’s car from Near West Side gas station

Chicago — Prosecutors have charged a man with attempted murder for allegedly exchanging gunfire with an off-duty Chicago police officer after stealing the cop’s car from a Near West Side gas station on Christmas Eve. Mayco Mata, 41, was ordered held without bail by Judge Charles Beach.

Mayco Mata | Chicago Police Department

The officer pulled his 2018 Jeep Cherokee into the service station at Roosevelt Road and Ashland Avenue to put oil in the engine around 2:05 a.m. Saturday. After asking the off-duty cop for directions, Mata slid into the Jeep’s driver’s seat and drove away with the SUV, which still had its hood raised, prosecutor Jose Villarreal said.

Mata didn’t get far. He crashed the stolen Jeep into a fire hydrant, got out, drew a 40-caliber handgun from his waistband, and fired at the off-duty officer, according to Villarreal. The officer pulled out his own 45-caliber gun and returned fire.

No injuries were reported.

On-duty police officers arrested Mata about a half-mile from the gas station and recovered an unloaded 40-caliber handgun from his waistband, Villarreal said. Investigators allegedly found 40-caliber and 45-caliber shell casings from where the two men shot at each other.

Mata has a pending misdemeanor domestic battery case in the suburbs. His felony convictions include a 2018 aggravated battery and a 2004 fleeing and eluding.

He is now charged with attempted murder, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, unlawful use of a weapon, and possessing a controlled substance.

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