Left for dead

Left For Dead: Alleged Driver in Deadly Hit-and-Run Later Accused of Shooting at Off-Duty Officer

Clues were left at the northwest side crash scene last April, but it's unclear how much police followed up.

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The alleged driver involved in a deadly hit-and-run on the Northwest Side of Chicago last April is the same man accused of shooting at an off-duty Chicago Police officer in December, according to new records uncovered exclusively by NBC 5 Investigates.

On the night of April 23, 2022, 25-year-old TJ Kapan was hit and killed while riding his motorcycle on Irving Park Road.

"He had such a lively spirit," said Kapan's mother, Nancy Briguglio.

The driver of the black BMW that hit him ran away from the crash, but left several clues behind.

A crash report obtained by NBC 5 Investigates said a third person came to the crash scene near Lockwood Avenue that night. According to the report, it was the girlfriend of the "alleged driver."

The report stated that she told police that her boyfriend "fled the scene after the crash, called her, and told her about the crash." The alleged driver, according to the report, is Mayco Mata.

Crash reports and documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that, on the night of the crash; Chicago police had Mata's name, car, license plate and his girlfriend's description of the events. It is not clear in the reports how much police followed up on these early leads, but no arrests have been made in the case.

"It angers me to the bone because how could you leave my son to die?" said Kapan's mother, Nancy Briguglio. "And you're walking free and you got away with it?"

Eight months after the crash in Portage Park, a man emerged on surveillance video at a gas station at Ashland Avenue and Roosevelt Road on Chicago's Near West Side. The video from Dec. 24 was later released by Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

It shows the man make small talk with the owner of a red Jeep. Then, seconds later, the man jumps in the driver's seat and drives away with the car's hood still raised. The driver soon crashes into a hydrant and runs away while exchanging gunfire with the Jeep's owner -- an off-duty Chicago police officer -- who chased his car down the street.

The suspect arrested in that case is Mayco Mata. He now faces several charges from the incident, including attempted murder. Since then, he has been in the Cook County Jail awaiting trial.

"[Police] didn't even bother to call me," said Briguglio. "I had to call them find out. So it's a nightmare."

Two weeks after Mata's arrest, Illinois State Police informed Chicago police that they found Mata's DNA on his BMW's steering wheel and gear shifter, from the night of the crash with Kapan. It is another link on top of what police found last April.

Mata has not been charged in the hit-and-run.

When asked for comment, the Chicago Police Department said that Area Five Detectives are still investigating.

To date, NBC 5 Investigates has found that for every 1,000 serious hit and run crashes, Chicago police average three arrests.

"As a mother, you just want answers," said Briguglio. "You want justice."

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