REVEALED: Illegal immigrant suspect in shooting of NYPD officers was set free by Chicago court in 2023

An immigration court in Chicago had set him free without granting or denying him asylum.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
It has been revealed that the illegal immigrant from Venezuela who is suspected of shooting two New York Police Department officers as they carried out a traffic stop earlier this week in Queens had had his immigration case dismissed less than one year after unlawfully entering the country. Bernardo Castro Mata, 19, was arrested after crossing into the United States in July 2023, however he was released a short time later and assigned an immigration court in Chicago, which set him free without granting or denying him asylum.

Mata proceeded to move to New York, living in a hotel-turned-migrant shelter near LaGuardia Airport. On Monday, he opened fire on the law enforcement personnel after they tried to pull him over for driving the wrong way on a Queens street on his motorized scooter.

According to the New York Post, the Chicago court's decision to close Mata's case meant the end of "removal proceedings" to deport him. He was under no obligation to leave the country, however he could not apply for benefits, monetary aid, or work permits. He did, however, have the option to re-apply for asylum or try to obtain legal status in the US via other channels. What impact the shooting will have on his status remains to be seen, as officials determine how to charge him.

The incident took place shortly before 2 am Monday in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens. As Mata was making his way down 89th Street, the officers attempted to pull him over. He kept going for a couple blocks before discarding the scooter and pulling out a gun, which was eventually determined to have been illegally obtained.

Mata then allegedly shot both cops, striking one in the chest and the other in the leg. The former had been wearing a bullet-proof vest and was only grazed, while the latter suffered injuries. One of them fired back, hitting Mata in the ankle. Both were taken to a nearby hospital to receive treatment. 

While Mata did not have a criminal history, he was under investigation for several "snatch and grab" robberies in the city which patterned those carried out by members of the Tren de Aragua gang.
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