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Fox Lake manhunt: Police hope surveillance video leads to shooting suspects’ capture (with video)

Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com
Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit talks during a news conference outside of the Fox Lake Police Department on Wednesday, September 02, 2015 in Fox Lake.
Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit talks during a news conference outside of the Fox Lake Police Department on Wednesday, September 02, 2015 in Fox Lake.

FOX LAKE – Authorities are hoping surveillance footage and tips from the public will provide the clues they need to find the three men involved in the death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph "G.I. Joe" Gliniewicz as the search continues.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko said at a news conference Wednesday the manhunt was far from over, although police stopped searching a specific 2-mile perimeter Tuesday night.

"This is an ongoing investigation," Filenko said. "We've been following up on leads since yesterday. … We're still continuing to follow up on leads."

Tips are coming in from the across the country, Filenko said, acknowledging police could not add to the vague descriptions of the subjects. Authorities have nothing to go on other than their gender and race, which Gliniewicz radioed to dispatch minutes before he was shot and killed.

Filenko said the suspects – two white males and one black male – should be considered armed and dangerous and urged citizens to remain vigilant.

"They shot a police officer, I think that speaks for itself," Filenko said.

At 7:52 a.m. Tuesday, Lt. Gliniewicz radioed that he was investigating "suspicious activity" in the area of Sayton Road and Route 12. At 7:55 a.m. he called for backup, and officers arrived at 8:01 a.m. At 8:09 a.m. they found Gliniewicz unresponsive with a gunshot wound. He was about 50 yards from his vehicle near a swampy area.

After the news conference Filenko said Gliniewicz likely was on his way into the office when he was shot.

"From what everyone says, the minute he entered the city limits he was on duty," Filenko said. "He was a very dedicated officer."

Tuesday's search brought about 400 law enforcement to the area with dozens of K9 units, armored vehicles and helicopters. Hours after the shooting, authorities conducted a systematic grid search in a 2-mile radius around the area of Sayton Road and Route 12. Filenko said they have no reason to believe the offenders crossed the nearby state line into Wisconsin.

A large police presence with K-9 units and at least two helicopters shut down much of the area around Routes 12 and 120 at the border of Volo and Lakemoor late Wednesday, starting shortly before 9:30 p.m., as officers looked for two men, Lake County Det. Chris Covelli said.

PHOTOS: Manhunt continues after Fox Lake police officer shot, killed

There was no information as of midnight to connect the search to the manhunt, he said, adding at that point, no members of law enforcement had seen the men.

“When something like this happens the whole community is victimized,” Lake County Sheriff's Detective Chris Covelli said. “We want the community to know that we are keeping them safe.”

The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and U.S. Marshal Service along with Illinois State Police and officers from virtually every Lake County police agency are assisting in the investigation. The McHenry County Sheriff's Office also sent resources used to search for the suspects.
Filenko would not comment on whether Gliniewicz's own gun was used in the crime or if it was recovered. He would not say if there were any dashcam video or eyewitnesses.

Investigators are collecting and reviewing surveillance video from area businesses and residences. Filenko said it would take some time to gather and review any videos.

An autopsy was conducted late Tuesday, but Filenko would not release any details because information or evidence gleaned from the autopsy could be used in the investigation.

Law enforcement officials said this was the first fatal shooting of a police officer in Fox Lake history and the first on-duty police officer fatality in Lake County since 1978.

Several Fox Lake area schools were closed Wednesday, as was the Fox Lake Public Library. Covelli advised residents to remain vigilant and watch for anything out of the ordinary. Tips can be reported to the Fox Lake Police Department at 847-587-3100.

At least one district, Fox Lake Grade School District 114, issued a notice indicating classes would resume Thursday. The notice encourages students to wear blue and black to support the Fox Lake Police Department. Other school districts had not made decisons on Wednesday afternoon.

As the manhunt wore on, residents streamed to the Fox Lake Police Department with water, flowers, balloons, condolences and support.

Video: Memorial set up at Fox Lake Police Department

As the manhunt wore on, residents streamed to the Fox Lake Police Department with water, flowers, balloons, condolences and support.

Among them were students from Grant Community High School. Student Jessi Barron said the school fell to silence when students learned about Tuesday's shooting because Gliniewicz was known and respected in the school.

“It's never going to be the same,” Barron said.

More on Fox Lake Police Lt. Joe Gliniewicz

Gliniewicz, affectionately known as "G.I. Joe," was a respected Fox Lake police officer for the past 30 years. He planned to retire at the end of September. He was an Army veteran and leader of the Fox Lake Explorer Post 300, a group that trains young people interested in law enforcement.

He leaves behind a wife and four sons.

Video: Community stands in support of slain Fox Lake officer

U.S. Rep. Bob Dold, a Republican from Illinois' 10th District, also visited the police department Wednesday morning. He said in addition to finding the suspects, officials are focused on supporting Gliniewicz's wife and four sons.

“This is literally one of these types of individuals that has been a model citizen and really a model police officer,” Dold said. “And I'm honored to have known him.”
Reporter Emily Coleman contributed to this article.

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