By Bridget Doyle and Dawn Rhodes
7:20 PM EST, December 15, 2012
A man who shot a Chicago police officer last week has been charged with attempted first degree murder and other crimes, Cook County prosecutors said Saturday.
Mario Froylan, 27, of Summit, allegedly shot an off-duty cop during an attempted robbery the morning of Dec. 10 in Chicago’s Clearing West neighborhood.
Police said the off-duty officer was coming home from picking up his 2-year-old son when the attack occurred.
Froylan, wearing a gray hoodie, approached the officer as he was getting out of his car near 63rd Street and Nashville Avenue and announced a robbery, police said.
The officer took out his service weapon and said that he was a police officer, police Cmdr. Anthony Riccio said Saturday during a press conference held with police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
Froylan opened fire, striking the officer in the wrist and chest, Riccio said. The officer returned fire, striking his attacker at least once, Riccio said.
In all, 10 gunshots were exchanged between the two, Riccio said.
One bullet hit a window in the officer's car where his son was sitting, but the boy was unharmed, McCarthy added.
Officials said that Froylan left the scene in a vehicle, and police were able to piece together several surveillance videos to track in which direction he fled. Police determined that he fled to a relative's house in Westmont after the shooting and was arrrested there, Riccio said.
McCarthy said that the 34-year-old officer recently received a valor award in an incident involving a knife-wielding man and a young child.
He added that the officer may have turned away from his shooter after being struck in the left wrist. As a result, the second shot traveled around his rib cage and never penetrated the chest cavity.
“He was incredibly fortunate,” McCarthy said. “It saved his life, I'm pretty certain. It's going to be hard to survive a gunshot wound to the chest right at that spot.”
McCarthy said that the officer, who works in the 7th District, is recovering well and is eager to return to duty.
“He said, 'I have to get back to work because I'm worried about my partner,'“ McCarthy said.
Police said that Froylan has nine previous arrests in Chicago on his record and is on parole for a federal narcotics conviction. In connection to last week’s shooting, he was also charged with aggravated battery and attempted robbery with a firearm.
On Saturday, Froylan was held in lieu of a $500,000 bail. His next court date is scheduled for Dec. 17.
Tribune reporter Peter Nickeas contributed.
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