After Manhunt, 22-Year-Old Charged in Killing of Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca

A casket carrying the body of fallen Officer Luis Huesca is carried by fellow officers before funeral services April 29, 2024. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)A casket carrying the body of fallen Officer Luis Huesca is carried by fellow officers before funeral services April 29, 2024. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

The manhunt for the suspect charged in the killing of Chicago police Officer Luis Huesca lasted more than a week and expanded across three states before an arrest was made Wednesday night.

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Chicago police officials on Friday officially announced charges against 22-year-old Xavier Tate Jr., of Aurora, who now faces individual counts of first-degree murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking and possession of a stolen firearm.

A Cook County judge ordered Tate to be detained pending trial during a hearing Friday. 

“Tate, in a matter of seconds, took the life of someone who was trying to make our city better and safer,” Police Supt. Larry Snelling said Friday.

Tate was arrested Wednesday evening at an apartment in suburban Glendale Heights. Snelling said Huesca’s own handcuffs were placed on Tate as he was taken into custody.

Huesca, 30, was fatally shot in Gage Park as he returned home following his shift around 3 a.m. April 21. Police said officers responding to a report of shots fired drove to the 3100 block of West 56th Street, where they discovered Huesca, a six-year CPD veteran, with gunshot wounds. He was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti, investigators processing the shooting scene recovered ballistic evidence that contained Tate’s DNA. His fingerprints were also found on a nearby fence he was allegedly seen jumping over following the shooting.

Police said Huesca did not fire any shots before he was killed, as only one caliber of casing was recovered at the scene.

Huesca was wearing his CPD uniform when he was killed along with a jacket, police said. According to Ursitti, nothing in the investigation showed that Tate specifically targeted Huesca because he was a police officer.

Officer Luis M. Huesca (Chicago Police Department / Youtube)Officer Luis M. Huesca (Chicago Police Department / Youtube)

According to Cook County prosecutors, surveillance videos captured Tate inside a Walgreens in the 5400 block of South Kedzie Avenue buying a bottle of water using his mother’s bank card less than 30 minutes before the shooting.

He then left the store and was walking near 56th and Troy streets when Huesca drove his Toyota past, turned onto 56th Street and pulled into his driveway. Tate allegedly followed the vehicle and approached the driver’s side door before firing 10 shots at Huesca.

According to prosecutors, Huesca was struck in the head, chest, arms and thigh. Tate then allegedly got into Huesca’s Toyota and fled the scene. Multiple surveillance cameras captured him driving the vehicle until he abandoned it in a secluded alley in the 6400 block of South Mozart Street, prosecutors said.

Tate allegedly changed clothes following the shooting, and dumped some items of clothing he had been wearing in a trash can, where they were later found by police. He then stole a bicycle and rode toward the home of his cousin, prosecutors said. During that ride, he allegedly stopped in an alley near Oakley Avenue and 55th Street, where investigators later found Tate’s phone broken in two pieces.

During the investigation, police last week went to the home of Tate’s acquaintance, 20-year-old Caschaus Tate, in the 10800 block of South Hale Street. There they recovered Huesca’s service weapon, which had been taken from the officer after the shooting, as Caschaus Tate allegedly attempted to dispose of the weapon outside.

He has since been arrested and charged with one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

The extensive investigation expanded into Dubuque, Iowa, and Madison, Wisconsin, after police received information that Tate may have fled Illinois. Subsequent information revealed he had been hiding in an apartment in west suburban Glendale Heights, Ursitti said.

The DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office confirmed Malik Murphy, whose apartment Tate was found in, has been charged with a felony count of concealing or aiding a fugitive. Murphy has since appeared in court and was released pending trial.

While Huesca’s shift had ended before the shooting, the CPD ruled his death occurred in the line of duty.

At his funeral Monday, Huesca’s family described him as a “kind soul” who always wanted to protect the innocent. His brother called him “lionheart,” while friends and co-workers shared stories about Huesca’s humor and the respect he showed to all those around him.

“As we stand before you today, we are united in our resolve as well as in our sorrow,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said. “We are committed to a thorough, ongoing review ensuring that our pursuit of justice is meticulous and unwavering.”

Tate is due back in court May 22.

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