Mother of man accused of shooting Cicero cop says son might have been suicidal
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The mother of a man accused of shooting a Cicero police officer during a traffic stop on the Southwest Side said her son may have been suicidal and that he panicked when police approached him.
“He’s loved and there are a lot of people praying for him,” Ada Mageo said after a bond hearing Friday for her son at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. “He really is sorry about what happened.”
Daniel Mageo, 27, of Long Beach, California, faces attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery charges in the shooting of the 31-year-old Officer Luis Duarte.
Mageo, who was also shot during the gun battle with Duarte’s partner, was wheeled into Cook County Judge John F. Lyke Jr.’s courtroom in a yellow, plastic wheelchair. A bun atop his head, Mageo’s left leg was wrapped in a thick bandage.
The Sept. 13 shooting unfolded near the Cicero Avenue ramp on the Stevenson Expressway during the evening rush hour.
Duarte and his partner were in uniform but driving an unmarked squad car when they saw a black Mercedes-Benz driving erratically, prosecutors said.
The officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, but it drove off and got stuck in traffic near the expressway ramp, Assistant State’s Attorney Guy Lisuzzo said. When the officers blocked the Mercedes in, Mageo, armed with a black handgun, allegedly opened fire.
Duarte was shot at least six times — in the leg, hip and shoulder, Lisuzzo said. A bullet also struck the officer’s Taser. Duarte has since been released from the hospital, but was still walking with the aid of a walker, authorities said.
A witness with a permit to carry a concealed gun saw the shooting and fired three times at Mageo as he ran, Lisuzzo said. None of those bullets struck Mageo.
But Duarte’s partner exchanged gunfire with Mageo and Mageo was shot in the ankle and leg. After being shot, he fell to the ground and yelled for the officer to just kill him, Lisuzzo said.
Mageo’s mother said she thought those comments spoke of her son’s state of mind.
“Like they said about [him] wanting to die; he wasn’t in his right mind,” she said. “This just isn’t like him,” she said.
When she flew in from California to see her son in the hospital, Ada Mageo said, “He just said he didn’t mean to hurt anyone and that he just panicked.”
Prosecutors said Mageo was convicted of human trafficking of a minor and released on parole in July 2014. He was also wanted on an arrest warrant in California at the time of the shooting because he cut off a GPS ankle bracelet that he was required to wear as a condition of parole.
Mageo’s mother called the trafficking charge accurate, but “trumped up,” because the girl he was convicted of trafficking was 17. She wasn’t aware her son was wanted on a warrant.
Ada Mageo admitted her son had a troubled past, but said he grew up in a good home and was raised right.
Mageo’s girlfriend, Jennie Gallardo, described him as “a big sweetheart.”
“Everyone has a past,” Gallardo said of Mageo’s criminal history, which prosecutors said included arrests for drugs, fighting in public and obstructing arrest.
“I don’t think he meant to do it.”
Following Friday’s hearing, Cicero Police Supt. Jerry Chlada Jr. refused to discuss the shots fired by the witness but said he was glad that “someone was there to help my officer.”
Chlada said that the man went to Duarte after firing his gun and tried to stop the bleeding before paramedics arrived.
“The kid almost died,” Chlada said.
Duarte was in good spirits, Chlada said. “He’s recovering, but it’s going to be a long process,” he said.
The superintendent dismissed Mageo’s mother’s comments about her son’s panic attack.
Lyke, who had described Mageo as a “poster child for no bail,” stood by his original no bail ruling while Mageo was hospitalized.
“He got into a gun battle with police on the streets of Cook County,” the judge said. “He poses a real and present danger to the citizens of Cook County.”
Of the no bail order, Chlada said, “That’s what it should be.”