Law-enforcement officials broadened the hunt Wednesday for three suspects in the fatal shooting of a popular veteran police officer in a small northern Illinois community after a methodical house-to-house search turned up nothing.
Hundreds of officers, aided by dozens of dogs and numerous helicopters, were involved in the exhaustive search in Fox Lake after the killing of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz on Tuesday morning. That initial manhunt focused on a two-square-mile area near the scene of the shooting and ended around 10:00 p.m. Tuesday. Then, officers switched to “saturation patrols” over a broader area to search for the suspects, investigate any suspicious activity and reassure residents, said Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli.
Meanwhile, the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force has taken over the main investigation and is following leads, he said.
“We’re not searching in an enclosed perimeter area anymore,” Covelli said. “But we are saturating the area. I would describe it as numerous police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers in the area continuing to look for the offenders, continuing to investigate suspicious activity and being available for residents.”
Authorities from across the state and region joined the manhunt Tuesday in the village about 60 miles north of Chicago.
An emotional Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit described the slain officer as a personal friend, a three-decade member of the department and a father of four sons.
“We lost a family member,” Schmit said of the 52-year-old officer known around town as “GI Joe.” “His commitment to the people of this community has been unmatched and will be dearly missed.”