FOX LAKE (CBS) — A manhunt is continuing into the evening in far north suburban Fox Lake, after a police officer was shot and killed while chasing three suspects on foot.
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko said an officer was shot Tuesday morning near Rollins Road and Route 59. The officer was identified as Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, a 32-year police veteran. He was set to retire at the end of the month.
Lake County Sheriff’s Det. Chris Covelli said, around 7:50 a.m., the officer radioed he was pursuing three suspects, after looking into their “suspicious activity.” Police lost radio contact with the Gliniewicz, who was later found with a gunshot wound. Shortly after the news conference, Covelli confirmed that the officer died.
Covelli said police were conducting a ground and air search for three suspects — two white males and a black male. Unconfirmed dispatch reports indicated the suspects might have taken the officer’s gun and pepper spray. Police did not provide a more detailed description of the suspects.
At an afternoon news conference, authorities did not say whether anybody was in custody and that a “massive search” is continuing.
Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz patrolled Fox Lake for more than three decades and was known by some as “G.I. Joe.” Gliniewicz was married with four children.
The manhunt appeared to be centered on a marshy area off Rainier Way and Rollins Road. Police officers from at least a half dozen different agencies – many heavily armed and wearing body armor – have scattered throughout the area. Several law enforcement vehicles, including armored trucks, were lining U.S. Route 12 in Fox Lake.
K-9 units and helicopters also have been brought in, and according to unconfirmed dispatch reports, picked up a scent in that swampy area.
Early Tuesday evening, police had blocked off a parking lot of a business in nearby Ingleside as canine units walked along Route 59 and near railroad tracks.
State Police helicopters equipped with thermal imaging will stay in the air overnight and the search on the ground continues using trained dogs and federal agents with nightvision goggles.
People in the area were being told to stay inside, and to report any suspicious activity to 911.
As the sun set on Fox Lake, neighbors talked about the activity in their normally quiet village.
“We looked out the window to see if anybody was walking around and we locked our doors,” said Carol Demski.
Neighbors are thinking of tomorrow hoping this all ends soon.
“I’m curious to see what they’re going to do tomorrow cause I don’t feel very comfortable sending my kids to school while this is going on,” said Melissa Jurik.
Grant Community High School in Fox Lake and St. Bede School in neighboring Ingleside were placed on lock down at the request of Fox Lake Police as police search for the suspects.
Gavin School District 57 said Gavin South Middle School and Gavin Central Elementary School — both in Ingleside — were on soft lockdown. McHenry School District 15 said all of its schools — six elementary schools and two high schools — also were on soft lock down due to the manhunt.
Grant Community High School, Fox Lake, Gavin, and Big Hollow are all closed on Wednesday.
Parents say they got a message about the lockdown Tuesday morning but say the district never said why students were locked down.
“I was thinking the worst,” said Luis Enciso.
Six hours after the initial alert, area schools gave the go-ahead for parents to pick up their students. After details about a manhunt, parents couldn’t get their kids fast enough.
Big Hollow Schools announced bused would not take students home, creating gridlock as parents came to pick up their kids.
Sixth grader Joseph texted his mom in class, telling her not to panic, but with all the commotion, she said not panicking that was impossible.
“It was taking so long that I decided to go back home and I decided to walk,” says Adriana Zamora.
At Stanton School, students were let out of the building one-by one. All after-school sports and activities were cancelled.
The manhunt also has affected trains on the Milwaukee District/North Line, which ends in Fox Lake. At least one train has been stopped due to the police activity, and the Ingleside station has been closed. Passengers on one train from Fox Lake to downtown Chicago will be bused to the Long Lake station.
Service disruptions on the Milwaukee District/North Line were likely until the manhunt ends.