Cop killer went to Iowa and Wisconsin after slaying Luis Huesca, prosecutors say. DNA, palm print, video evidence cited

CHICAGO — Video footage from scores of surveillance cameras, telephone location data, DNA evidence, and an eagle-eyed Chicago resident all helped Chicago police identify Xavier Tate Jr. as the man who murdered off-duty Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca during a carjacking on April 21, prosecutors said Friday.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered Tate jailed pending trial during a detention hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

The evidence against Tate began to build two days before the murder when his cousin ordered an Uber for him to ride from a home in the 10800 block of South Hale to the cousin’s house in the 5500 block of South Morgan, Assistant State’s Attorney Anne McCord Rodgers said in a written proffer provided by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Video showed Tate arriving in distinctive clothing, including a Guess jacket, Nike shoes with blue and white details, and a hoodie.

Then, in the hours leading up to the murder, a “multitude of surveillance videos” showed Tate wearing much of the same clothing as he walked all around his cousin’s neighborhood, Rodgers continued. She said cameras in three stores showed him making small purchases with his mother’s electronic benefits card.

At one point, he stopped in the 5800 block of South Sawyer and changed clothes on the sidewalk. A nearby resident thought that was suspicious, so she stepped outside and took a picture of him as he finished changing into distinctive Burberry shoes and a jacket with bright yellowish-green stripes, Rodgers said.

Xavier Tate and Luis Huesca are seen with surveillance images of the murderer distributed by CPD. (Chicago Police Department)

Wearing the new outfit, he used his mom’s benefits card to buy a bottle of “Nice!” water at a Walgreens near Huesca’s home.

Shortly before 3 a.m., one of Huesca’s neighbors heard gunfire and looked outside to see Huesca lying on the ground next to his Toyota SUV and a man standing at his feet. As the witness watched, Tate got into Huesca’s car and drove away, Rodgers said. She noted that the witness picked someone other than Tate from a photo line-up when asked to identify the man who took the car.

CPD officers found Huesca after responding to a ShotSpotter alert. His gun was gone. There were ten shell casings at the scene, all fired from one weapon, according to Rodgers. DNA on the casings allegedly matched Tate. His DNA was already in a law enforcement database because he was found guilty of a felony gun possession charge as a juvenile, Rodgers explained.

There was no evidence that Huesca fired any shots, she said. Rodgers did not say if Huesca’s gun was used in the murder.

Rodgers said more cameras recorded Tate as he drove away with Huesca’s SUV and dumped it in the 5600 block of South Mozart minutes after the murder. When investigators found the car abandoned, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes were inside and beside the vehicle.

A motion-activated security camera caught images of Tate walking back and forth after he dumped the car. As the footage started and stopped, Tate’s clothing gradually changed, she said. For instance, the Nikes he wore in the Uber allegedly replaced the Burberry shoes. Detectives found the discarded clothing, including the jacket with yellowish-green stripes, in a trash can near Huesca’s car. A “Nice!” water bottle was found nearby.

Not far away, police would later find Tate’s phone, broken into two pieces. Its location history allegedly put him at the murder scene.

Rodgers said Tate continued his escape by stealing a bike from a yard in the 5600 block of South California. She claimed a handprint on the yard’s fence showed “an association” with Tate’s print.

Investigators later found the stolen bike abandoned behind his cousin’s home.

In the days after the murder, Xavier Tate traveled to Wisconsin, Iowa, and Rockford before ending up in Glendale Heights. A U.S. Marshals task force arrested him there Wednesday evening.

Tate has two pending misdemeanor cases in Kane County, one for resisting and another for obstruction of justice, Rodgers said. He failed to appear in court for those. Two days after the murder, he also failed to appear for a pending criminal trespass to residence case in Cook County.

He is charged with murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm, and possessing a stolen firearm.

On Friday, detectives went to the home on Hale Avenue where Tate’s Uber ride originated. They wanted to see if the people there had any helpful information. The investigators ended up recovering Huesca’s stolen firearm after a man who lives in the home, Caschaus Tate, allegedly tossed it over a fence upon seeing police at his door.

Prosecutors have also charged a Glendale Heights man, Malik Murphy, with concealing or aiding a fugitive.

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About Tim Hecke 300 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com