CBS 2 Chicago wbbm7801059 670 The Score

Local

Downstate Town Can’t Believe ‘Honeybee Killer’ May Have Lived There

Police tape surrounds the Rankin home of Gary Amaya.

Police tape surrounds the Rankin home of Gary Amaya.

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

RANKIN, Ill. (CBS) – Who was Gary Amaya, the gunman shot dead at a suburban L.A. Tan over the weekend? Even his neighbors don’t seem to know.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole traveled to Amaya’s hometown of Rankin, about 100 miles south of Chicago.

Crime scene tape surrounds Amaya’s home. Just steps away, a mobile crime lab has traveled there from Will County. Detectives are working to possibly identify Amaya as the infamous “Honeybee Killer.”

Amaya neighbor John Halley was surprised.

“He was quiet and kept to himself all the time,” he said. “We don’t know if he was good, bad or what.”

Even authorities in the tiny town had no indication he might be so dangerous. Police Chief Tim Condon said he has been in town for two years and hadn’t had any run-ins with the suspect.

Authorities say Amaya was 48 and last worked as a trucker for Raven Trucking in nearby Milford, but only for a few months last winter

The Honeybee Killer went on a shooting spree last October, killing one man and wounding another in Beecher before traveling to Lowell, Ind., where he said something about honeybees before shooting and wounding a farmer there.

Linking the cases, say police sources, are a 1992 light blue Chevy Cheyenne truck and a revolver used in all of the crimes that is a preliminary ballistics match.

Immediately after October shootings, authorities released a sketch of the killer. Amaya’s neighbors indicated he only partly resembles the sketch.

A surviving victim of the Honeybee Killer and a family member of one of his murder victims both say they were contacted by Will County authorities following Saturday’s shooting at L.A. Tan.

Police sources indicate they removed nothing of consequence from Amaya’s home. They promise an update on the investigation Tuesday.